Update: It's 6am in California, and I wake up to see that LA County is still passing Proposition 8 with what CNN calls 100% of precincts in. It's a very narrow, roughly 22,000 win out of about 2,500,000 votes cast, but as I said, a tie was there enough for it to pass. The counties that defeated Prop. 8 are all in except tiny Yolo county, and some sizable counties that are passing it are still out including Riverside county.
The remaining 8% of California precincts would have to go roughly 75% against, 25% for in order to overcome this statewide lead of approximately 375,000 votes out of maybe 9,750,000 votes cast. 52-48 in favor, statewide? A thank you to Barack Obama may be in order.
Yes, that is what I said. CNN's Proposition 8 exit poll says 'whites' defeated the measure 53-47, 'latinos' passed it 51-49, 'asians' defeated it 53-47, 'others' were split 50-50, but 'African-Americans' passed it 70-30. That group being 10% of the electorate means that group alone provided a 390,000 vote margin of victory.
Did Obama turnout flip Proposition 8? We may never know for sure.
It's still early, there's still half of LA County and half of California still counting, but Proposition 8, which would amend the California Constitution to restore the traditional definition of marriage, is leading statewide 52-48, and in LA County 53-47. Traditionally LA County comes in later and decides things, swamping any conservative-friendly measures that aren't ahead by enough. But if LA County is passing this thing, or ends up close to a tie, then we could have traditional marriage truly restored in California. It could hang on because much of the Bay Area's done counting, and a lot of the places still counting are passing it by 10, 20, 30 points, such as my own Riverside county where it's up 63-37 with 45% left to count.
Traditional marriage could be restored in California. Think of what kind of message that will send to Americans. Think of all the kids who will have more stable family lives as a result. This is a bigger deal than it may seem for the long-term well being of Americans.
Consider that in San Francisco County, Proposition 8 lost 77-23, McCain lost 85-13, and Pelosi's Republican opponent lost 72-(other parties 19)-9%. There are people in San Francisco who voted for Obama, who voted for Pelosi, Sheehan, or a Green, but who voted to restore traditional marriage. Amazing, isn't it?
It's enough to make a person smile, even.