Map of the Day: Parsing the Prop 8 Vote

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When a state like South Dakota outlaws abortion or a state like Vermont legalizes gay marriage, it's because most voters in that state agree on that position. But when California makes a decision on a major cultural issue, it's like taking a sample of the nation.

Twelve percent of Americans live in California, and the state has the world's fifth largest economy. "It's a nation-state really," says Michael Barone. Ideologically, it's left-of-center, but it has enough political crosscurrents to be a good case study.

Let's take a look at how California voted on Prop 8 in 2008, which of course banned gay marriage and was struck down by Judge Vaughn Walker on Wednesday.

Prop. 8 was opposed mostly in Pelosiland (Frisco), Boxerland (Marin), Oakland, Berkeley, Silicon Valley, Wine Country, the Hippie Coast (Humbolt, etc...), and Santa Barbara.

Prop. 8 was supported in Reaganland (Inland Empire), Nixonland (Orange), San Diego, Palm Desert, Pomboland (Stockton area), McCarthyland (Kern), the Central Valley, Shasta Cascade, and pretty much everywhere else.

Unsurprisingly, Republicans areas largely supported it and Democratic areas largely opposed it, but dense suburban counties such as Los Angeles and Sacramento proved the tipping point.

Prop 8 Map

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Patrick Ottenhoff has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. A former staff writer for National Journal Group and project manager at New Media Strategies, he now attends Georgetown's McDonough School of Business. More

Patrick Ottenhoff attends Georgetown McDonough School of Business in the Class of 2012. He previously served as a project manager in the Public Affairs Practice of New Media Strategies and was a staff writer for National Journal Group. Patrick has been writing The Electoral Map blog since 2007. As the name implies, the blog covers news and commentary at the intersection of politics and geography, but it also analyzes the stories, people, culture, sports, and food behind the maps and the votes. Patrick is a native Virginian and graduate of Union College in New York. You can follow The Electoral Map on Twitter and Facebook, and follow Patrick on YouTube.
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