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New poll confirms who liked--and opposed--Prop 8 on same-sex marriage

December 3, 2008 | 10:00 pm

Hotly differing views on Proposition 8 the same sex marriage ban

The Public Policy Institute of California has a new poll out confirming a lot of what was known -- or might have been suspected--about the Nov. 4 election.

For instance, Proposition 8, the state ballot measure banning same-sex marriage, drew its strongest support from evangelical Christians and Republicans, while Democrats were overwhelmingly opposed.

Backers of GOP presidential nominee John McCain were much more likely to support the measure, approved by 52% of Californians, than were supporters of Democrat Barack Obama.

Perhaps the most interesting finding was a stand-alone question dealing with the issue of same-sex marriage. Of those polled, 47% were in favor, 48% were opposed and 5% were unsure. Which suggests -- happily for political consultants, political reporters and other members of the political-media-industrial complex -- that campaigns matter.

"The events in court, people getting married between court decisions and those kinds of events didn't seem to matter as much as the campaign in terms of persuading enough people who were undecided or ambivalent to vote 'yes,' " said Mark Baldassare, the survey director and head of the policy institute. ("Yes" amounted to a "no" vote on same-sex marriage, in the circuitous way the question was worded.)

Among other findings of the nonpartisan survey:

-- More than 6 in 10 Latino voters backed Proposition 4, the measure requiring parental notification before a minor can have an abortion. The finding will surely be cited as further proof by those who maintain that Latinos are cultural conservatives who therefore should vote Republican.

-- Nearly 8 in 10 Latinos voted for Obama, despite widespread speculation about black-brown tensions that, theoretically, were going to dampen support for the nation’s first African American presidential nominee.

-- In a further sign of Californians' affection for do-it-yourself democracy, two-thirds of respondents were generally satisfied with the initiative process and expressed more trust in their fellow citizens than in elected officials to make public policy.

Click this link to see the full survey.

-- Mark Z. Barabak

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Photo: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

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