"Blacks lost us Prop 8!"
There was a groundswell of black voters in California this cycle, true. They're still only a large enough voting block to really make a difference in races with tight margins like the Prop 8 race.
It's slicing up the electorate in ways that don't really make sense. The bigger issue is churchgoing and evangelical voters. Here are the "yes" numbers from the exit polls:
- weekly churchgoers: 84%
- white evangelicals: 81%
- white protestants: 65%
- Catholics: 64%
All of those groups are larger than the black vote, and the first and last include many black voters. Still, that's even slicing up things too simply (well, except white evangelicals). There were faith groups campaigning against Prop 8.
A big bunch of the blame rests with the "No" campaign. The advertising was sucktacular. So much time was spent countering the lies of the "Yes" campaign that our message never got out.
I don't know, though, that the "No" campaign knew how to get our message out.
Where were the "A 'yes' vote is a vote to end our marriage" ads?
Where were the ads featuring interracial straight couples recalling when their marriages were illegal?
Where were the ads featuring supportive ministers of all faiths and denominations asking for the right to perform same-sex marriages?
Where were the ads showing that, while domestic partnerships in law confer all the rights and responsibilities of marriage, we continuously have to fight to get organizations and people to obey that law and grant us our rights?
Where was our narrative?
Oh, and where were the ads featuring Governor Arnie, who constantly walks a tightrope claiming one thing and doing the opposite?