Simulation Techniques: Prop 8, Acts of Omission, Racial Scapegoating
Yes, math does matter.
Using a number of simulation techniques, I've calculated that even given the proportions estimated by the CNN Exit Poll (10% black electorate, 70% vote yes), Prop 8 would have passed with or without the black vote. I've posted a blog about this on my blog space and will present the results with updated numbers here.
As of 11/17/08 2:45pm, California Prop 8 Votes Are
Extrapolating CNN Exit Poll Proportions:
Total Black Votes: 1,211,937
Black Yes: 848,356
Black No : 363,581
Simulation #1: Blacks Do Not Vote (i.e., 1963 Civil Rights, with 2008 Social Attitudes)
CA Yes: 5,474,376 50.2% Prop 8 Passes
CA No: 5,433,056 49.8%
Simulation #2: Blacks Vote 1 to 1 (i.e., 50/50 split)
CA Yes: 6,080,345 50.2% Prop 8 Passes
CA No: 6,039,024 49.8%
Simulation #3: Blacks Vote as Progressively as Other Racial/Ethnic Groups (i.e., Whites/Asians: 49% Yes)
CA Yes: 6,068,225 50.1% Prop 8 Passes
CA No: 6,051,144 49.9%
Thus, in all three simulations, Prop 8 would have passed, admittedly by a smaller proportion. Nonetheless, the numbers are the numbers. Blacks cannot be blamed, statistically speaking, for the passage of Prop 8 even given all of the extrapolations that statisticians are known to make caveats about (i.e., sampling size, representativeness of sample, research design only captures does voting ON Election Day).
What Proportion of Blacks Would Have Needed To Vote Yes in Order for Prop 8 to be Rejected?
Simulation #4: Prop 8 is Rejected with 50.1% of Californians Voting Yes.
CA Yes: 6,047,565 47.3% of Blacks Vote Yes
CA NO: 6,071,804 52.7% of Blacks Vote No Prop 8 rejected
Conclusion: Given that no other racial/ethnic group's rejection of Prop 8 even came close to these figures and that black liberalism has been contested since the Reconstruction era (think DuBois vs Washington struggle), I find that it is not plausible to blame blacks for the passage of Prop 8 by statistics alone.
Instead, here are a number of other groups who actually had the electorate bloc to alter the passage of Prop 8 if they had been more “progressive.” Criterion for selection of group: At least 60% of all these groups voted for the passage of Prop 8 AND these groups made up at least 15% of the electorate (i.e., these groups had enough statistical power to sway the outcome of the Prop 8 ballot initiative had they been more liberal).
THE ELDERLY (65+) — 61% voted Yes, group made up 15% of the electorate
REPUBLICANS — 82% voted Yes, group made up 29% of the electorate
CONSERVATIVES — 85% voted Yes, group made up 30% of the electorate
PROTESTANTS — 65% voted Yes, group made up 43% of the electorate bloc
CATHOLICS — 64% voted Yes, group made up 30% of the electorate bloc
WHITE PROTESTANTS — 65% voted Yes, group made up 29% of the electorate bloc
THOSE WHO ATTEND CHURCH WEEKLY — 82% voted Yes, group made up 22% of the electorate bloc
MARRIED PEOPLE — 60% voted Yes, group made up 62% of the electorate bloc
PEOPLE WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18 — 64% voted Yes, group made up 40% of the electorate bloc
GUN OWNERS — 62% voted Yes, group made up 31% of the electorate bloc
BUSH VOTERS — 80% voted Yes, group made up 38% of the electorate bloc
OFFSHORE DRILLING SUPPORTERS — 66% voted Yes, group made up 31% of the electorate bloc
PEOPLE WHO ARE AFRAID OF A TERRORIST ATTACK — 65% voted Yes, group made up 24% of the electorate bloc
PEOPLE WHO THOUGHT THEIR FAMILY FINANCES WERE BETTER NOW THAN 4 YEARS AGO — 61% voted Yes, group made up 24% of the electorate bloc
SUPPORTERS OF THE WAR AGAINST IRAQ — 85% voted Yes, group made up 30% of the electorate bloc
PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T CARE ABOUT THE AGE OF THE CANDIDATES — 60% voted Yes, group made up 59% of the electorate bloc
PEOPLE WHO APPROVE OF HOW BUSH HANDLING JOB — 86% voted Yes, 24% of the electorate bloc
PEOPLE WHO ARE FROM THE “INLAND/VALLEY” REGION OF CALIFORNIA — 65% voted Yes, group made up 21% of the electorate bloc
MCCAIN VOTERS — 84% voted Yes, group made up 38% of the electorate bloc
Thanks for reading. In all, I think the approach I have taken has a number of utilities for activist, journalists, and the public.
1. Energy is placed into targetting the true barriers of civil rights.
2. We address the social, political, and economic interests of those individuals that support Prop 8 and thereby propose a means to effectively campaign for civil rights.
3. We discard the assumption that race carries with it monolithic social characteristics (i.e., stereotypes) imputed onto all individuals born with a particular phenotypic profile.