President Barack Obama enjoyed broad support across every demographic of voters in the city of Los Angeles, according to an exit poll conducted by the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles at Loyola Marymount University.That included advantages for the president among Catholics (79 percent to 21), Protestants (57 to 43), Jews (77-23) and agnostics/atheists (94-6), according to the study. Overall, L.A. City voters chose the president over challenger Mitt Romney nearly four-to-one: 78 percent of those polled said they voted for Obama, versus 22 percent for Romney. Obama had a double-digit advantage in all age groups and all ethnicities. The only category Romney led was among Los Angeles Republicans, where he won 83 percent of the vote.“What’s surprising about the result is that the president’s support remained so strong in Los Angeles, to the point that he picked up more of John McCain’s 2008 voters than Romney took from Obama’s column,” said Professor Fernando Guerra, director of the center.The exit poll also found that younger voters in Los Angeles were more likely to vote in favor of Propositions 30 and 38, both of which would increase taxes statewide (Prop. 30 passed while Prop. 38 failed). Younger voters also threw more support behind Measure J, which extends an existing sales tax in Los Angeles County that would otherwise expire in 2039. “Young voters were far more willing to approve a tax increase, but typically younger voters have not yet reached the higher income brackets that will be most affected by those increases,” Guerra said. Catholic voters in the city favored Prop. 30 by 70-30; Protestants opposed it, 51-49.Propositions 34 (banning the death penalty) and 36 (revising the three-strikes law) also drew solid support in the city of Los Angeles among most demographic groups, although only Prop. 36 passed statewide. Along religious lines, Catholics supported Prop. 34 (60-40) and Prop. 36 (73-27).The results are based on a tally of 2,595 completed surveys from 50 precincts in the city. More than 150 student volunteers from LMU canvassed precincts throughout the day and entered data for the initial analysis. The margin of error on all questions is plus or minus 1.89 percent.The survey uses the Center’s sampling methodology called the “racially stratified homogeneous precinct approach.” This method addresses limitations in standard exit poll sampling that typically has not provided accurate sampling of ethnic groups in urban settings. The exit polls are designed to study the relationships between voting preferences, ethnic relations, policy preferences, community attitudes, government and community action, and quality of life, and investigate the effects of precinct qualities on voting patterns.Statewide, the final totals in the presidential election found President Obama collecting 59 percent of the California vote, compared with Romney’s 38.5 percent. Although no demographic breakdown on voting by religious faith was obtainable, all three counties in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles voted in favor of Obama over Romney: in Los Angeles, 69-23; Santa Barbara, 57-41; and Ventura, 51-47.On key ballot propositions, Los Angeles County favored Prop. 34 while Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties opposed it. All three counties were solidly in favor of Prop. 36. And Los Angeles and Santa Barbara approved Prop. 30, while Ventura County narrowly opposed it (51-49 percent).—Mike Nelson
Mike Nelson is the former editor of The Tidings (predecessor of Angelus).