As an addendum to the previous post, a few remarks about the various ballot initiatives up for electoral consideration yesterday:
- If Hispanics are naturally traditionally-oriented, family-values conservatives, why did they back Colorado's Amendment 64 to legalize recreational marijuana usage 70%-30%, while Coloradan whites--a fairly liberal bunch--split 50%-50% on the issue?
- Younger Americans are more skeptical about a further socialization of health care in the US than older generations are, a notable departure from the general trend in which youth and affinity for socialism tend to go hand-in-hand. In Florida, voters under 30 voted in favor of Amendment 1, which would've prohibited individuals and businesses from being mandated to participate in any health care system, 55%-45%. All other age groups shot it down, with those 65 and older doing so 41%-59%. Spare me the nonsense about the elderly wanting to ensure the nation they've left to the rest of us is fiscally sound--everybody wants to stick their noses in the public trough, ancients included.
- The rapidity with which public opinion has shifted on same-sex marriage is remarkable. When the GSS asked respondents if those of the same sex should be allowed to marry one another, only 11% answered in the affirmative. Today, that is the majority position. No longer are besieged traditionalists on the losing side of history even able to claim that whenever it's put to the public, the public rejects same-sex marriage, and it's only through judicial fiat or by way of furtive legislative action that it is allowed. Maine, Maryland, and Minnesota all voted in favor of it. Results from Washington are still being processed, but at the moment it looks like it'll be legalized there as well.
Parenthetically, in all four states, men voted against and women voted for legalizing same-sex marriage. I wonder if running on a platform to repeal the 19th Amendment would be viable? Keep the 15th, though--blacks rejected same-sex marriage in Maryland (and likely the other three as well, though sample sizes were too small to be included in exit polls from those states).
- While the presidential exit polls broke out the voting behaviors of those married with children from the rest of the electorate, polling on the ballot measures over marijuana legalization did not. As education and income rise, support for legalization does as well, even as personal use of it declines. It's always easier to approve of self-destructive behaviors in the abstract than it is when one feels their consequences firsthand. I suspect those with kids are less supportive of legalization than singles and the childless married are.
GSS variables used: MARHOMO, YEAR(1988)