In Florida Obama is six points ahead of McCain, and for some strange reason, Prop. 2, which would ban gay marriage and civil unions, is also ahead—by 20 points.
It's too early to call, as they say, but my guess is that a large chunk of North Florida's Bible-beating hillbillies decided they were fine with letting Barack Obama a black man write off the mortgages on their trailers and give them free health care, but not with allowing their neighbors the queers in the rest of the state to marry—or form legal domestic partnerships with—the people they love other queers.
It's amazing to see which of their prejudices people are able to ignore when their own self-interests are at stake. Gay rights were so close…
UPDATE: The amendment to ban gay adoption in Arkansas is going like gang busters. McCain could have made this election about social issues and done much, much, better. Thank Spaghetti Monster, he didn't.
UPDATE: I'm looking at the county-by-county breakdown for Florida, and it seems I owe all the Bible-beating hillbillies an apology; Miami-Dade, Orange, and Broward (aka, the Gay Trifecta) are all reporting big support for Prop. 2.
UPDATE: In a bitter twist to the broader story, an evangelical family member who lives in Missouri is celebrating news that Grey's Anatomy axed its most prominent gay character. What a night.
(Final) UPDATE: Ben Smith on the likelihood that Prop 8 in California won't do much better than Prop 2 in Fla.:
California Democrats want Obama to win, but they're growing nervous tonight that a landslide back east could, perversely, help the state's conservatives pass an amendment barring same-sex marriage.
Their problem: If the presidential election appears over, it will likely depress the turnout, except among three groups: The social conservatives, and committed gay rights voters, going out to vote on Proposition Eight; and African-Americans, who are expected to come out to vote for the first black president even if his victory is all but assured.
And California polling suggests that black voters will back Proposition Eight. The last Field Poll had it at 49 to 43 percent in that community.
Some Democrats remember Jimmy Carter's early concession in 1980, which was devastating for local races in the West. So they may be hoping McCain pulls out a state or two back East.
UPDATE: There are indications of a robocall aiming to deliver this message, and suppress California votes. Jonathan Martin has four readers reporting it.