Thursday, November 6, 2008

Social Conservatism Not a Decisive Issue in This Election

The Wall Street Journal and CBS News report that Proposition 8, mandating that marriage between a man and a woman, won 52-48%. In contrast, President-elect Obama won in the Golden State by 61% to 37%. A bill restricting abortion rights for minors (requiring parental notification) lost by 52-48%. It is true that, as Paul Rogers points out in a Mercury News blog:

"Two of the main anti-abortion ballot measures in the nation failed. Voters in South Dakota rejected by a margin of 55-45 percent Initiative 11, which would have banned abortion except in cases of rape, incest or serious health risk to the mother. And in Colorado, they trounced Amendment 48, which would have defined life at the moment of conception. It failed by 73-27 percent."

Despite the failure of anti-abortion proposals, it would seem that the economy and the Iraqi War rather than social issues received voters' attention. Although restrictions on abortion failed, elimination of gay marriage succeeded in California, which someone once called "the land of fruit and nuts". It would also seem that advocates of abortion rights might begin to feel more comfortable with state-by-state determination of the extent to which abortion will be permitted rather than a sweeping Supreme Court decision.

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