Pollsters Discuss Election Results-- And Surveys Before

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Field Poll’s Mark DiCamillo says there’s no doubt for many voters—their decision on whether to ban gay marriage in California was a tough call.  He says they may have been conflicted about Prop 8 right up to the moment before they cast their ballots.  According to DiCamillo the views of Catholic voters’ just about matched those of the general public in the days before the election.

“Forty-four percent were in favor, 48-percent were opposed that’s very close to what our total statewide numbers had…”
But then he says actual results showed Catholics overwhelmingly voted in favor of the measure—by over 60-percent.   

“They had more than four times as many yes votes as the African Americans, and you know if you add together the African Americans and the Latinos they had more votes than both of them combined on the yes side so it was a vote about religion.”
Before the election both the Field Poll and the Public Policy Institute of California showed the measure going down in defeat. The P.P.I.C’s Mark Baldassare says there might also have been confusion between yes and no votes that affected their surveys. 

 “Well I think there’s a good possibility that people until they sat down and read the ballot pamphlet and the statements for and against may have had some confusion about whether a yes meant a no and a no meant a yes or what exactly a no vote meant.” 

Opponents of Prop 8 are challenging the measure in court. They have said if that’s not successful they’ll weigh other options including a 2010 ballot measure.