Blacks, Gays, Rove

Check out this exit poll analysis of the first anti-gay-union amendment to fail. It's from Arizona. You find some obvious data that bear out what we already know. Women are marginally more in favor of gay unions than men - but it's not that big a gender gap. Men split 50-50. Women broke 53 - 47 against a constitutional ban. The under-30s voted against the amendment by a whopping 61 to 39 percent. I expect in a decade or so that many of these amendments will be repealed by similar margins. Education is a key indicator of being anti-gay or not. Those with dropped out of high school favored the amendment by a huge 65 to 35 percent. Those who graduated college opposed it by a narrow margin. Post-grads were overwhelmingly opposed.

The only ethnic group to favor the amendment by a large margin was black, by 61 - 39 percent. Karl Rove's attempt to peel off a few black votes by gay-bashing was not stupid. It was based on the data. African-Americans are easily the ethnic group most hostile toward gay rights. The reasons may have more to do with education and class than race. But black homophobia exists - as any inner-city resident knows only too well. Sadly for Rove, prejudice alone can't get blacks to change their partisan alignment. Next time, Rove might want to try and exploit other fears and prejudices to win votes. This one is strong - just not strong enough.