Home > Political Campaigns > Quick and Dirty Prop. 8 Analysis

Quick and Dirty Prop. 8 Analysis

What predicts a county’s vote for Prop. 8? Did minority voters affect the outcome? I did a quick and dirty regression analysis, and the answers are: Mostly how the county voted on Prop. 22 and yes.

I regressed the each county’s vote on Prop. 8 on (1) its vote on Prop. 22, (2) the change in the percentage of Democratic registrants, (3) the percentage of population that is Hispanic, and (4) the percentage of the population that is African American. Counties are weighted by the proportion of Prop. 8 voters. (Got that?)

Each percentage point increase in a county’s vote for Prop. 22 results in slightly more than a one percentage point increase in its vote for Prop. 8 (b = 1.002, p < 0.001). That is, holding all else constant, a county’s vote for Prop. 8 will be roughly the same as its vote for Prop. 22. The difference is so small as to be inconsequential.

Each percentage point increase the percent of Democratic registrants lowers the county’s support for Prop. 8 by roughly 0.4 percentage points (b = -0.389, p < 0.002). So, holding all else constant, a greater preponderance of Democrats in a county’s electorate reduces the county’s support for Prop. 8.

Each percentage point increase in the percent of the county’s population that is Hispanic increases its support for Prop. 8 by 0.05 percentage points (b = 0.049, p < 0.002). More Hispanic residents means greater support for Prop. 8. In a county like LA County, where Hispanics make up slightly less than half the population, this means an increase of 2.5 percentage points in favor of Prop. 8 compared to a county where there are no Hispanic residents.

Likewise, all else being equal, more African American residents mean greater support for Prop. 8 in a county. Each percentage point increase in the percent of a county’s population that is African American increases the county’s support for Prop. 8 by 0.23 percentage points (b = 0.234, p < 0.001). In a county like Alameda County, where African Americans make up almost 14% of the population, this means an increase of about 3.2 percentage points compared to a county with no African-American residents.

Summing up:

  • Greater support for Prop. 22 = Greater support for Prop. 8
  • Greater preponderance of Democrats = Lower support for Prop. 8
  • Greater preponderance of Hispanic residents = Greater support for Prop. 8
  • Greater preponderance of African-American residents = Greater support for Prop. 8.

Discuss.

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