by David Downs
Prop 19's failure to pass was not a gender thing. It mostly wasn't a race thing. And it's not a class thing. According to exit poll data gathered by CNN: it's a little bit of a Tea Party thing. And surely, Democrats, especially young Democrats, failed to support Prop 19 the way they did the rest of the ticket. But the issue cuts across traditional party lines. Cue the Tea Party. Coming out of the voting booth, the likeliest “no” voters on 19 were Republican conservatives who strongly identified with the Tea Party. They were more likely to be over 66, and out of work. The less schooling they had, the harder they broke against the measure, with those who hadn't finished high school voting 60-40 against.
No on 19 voters tended to have voted for McCain, and strongly disapprove of Obama. They were more likely to be angry at government, and consider illegal aliens the most important issue in the country. They tended to want to cut taxes, repeal health care reform, and deport illegal immigrants. They tended to vote for Meg Whitman from the suburbs in the Central Valley and inland California, as well as Southern California.
The Tea Party got neutered in California on election day. But stomping pot was maybe the one thing they and plenty of Democrats could agree upon.