Study Shows Party, Ideology, Religiosity, and Age Drove Vote On California's Proposition 8

An analysis of California’s Proposition 8 vote shows that party affiliation, political ideology, frequency of attending worship services, and age were the driving forces behind the passage of the measure. Proposition 8, which amended the California constitution to remove the right of same-sex couples to marry, was approved by the state’s voters by 52 to 48 percent on Nov. 4.

Through a precinct-by-precinct analysis and review of multiple other sources of data, the study also puts African-American support for Proposition 8 in the range of 57 to 59 percent-far short of the 70 percent reported election night. The study also found that after taking into account the effect of religiosity (as measured by attendance of religious services), support for Proposition 8 among African Americans and Latinos was not significantly different than that of other groups. In addition, the study shows how support for marriage equality has grown substantially across almost all California demographic groups.

Download the report-“California’s Proposition 8: What Happened, and What Does the Future Hold?”-at:

The study was written by Patrick J. Egan, assistant professor of politics and public policy at New York University, and Kenneth Sherrill, professor of political science at Hunter College, CUNY. Egan and Sherrill reviewed pre- and post-election polls as well as precinct-level voting data from five California 500

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