Ballot Questions May Hinge On Obama Turnout

Gay marriage, marijuana, other issues on the line
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2008 4:58 PM CDT
Gerry Leone, Middlesex District Attorney, speaks at a news conference in Boston, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2008.   (AP Photo/Bizuayehu Tesafye)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama has a lot riding on his coattails. The impact of a presidential candidate's support on candidates for lower offices can be substantial, and this year's slates also include 153 ballot questions. Besides swinging gubernatorial and congressional races, measures concerning everything from gay marriage to gambling are up for a vote Tuesday. "The turnout of Obama voters could have an important impact on the propositions," a California pollster tells Bloomberg.

“There's a political landscape out there that's just tilted against Republicans,” said one analyst. The number of Democrats and independents has risen in California since 2004, for example, though some opponents of gay marriage say they think blacks who turn out for Obama may support the ban. “The outcome of this election is going to send shockwaves throughout the nation,” said one ban proponent. “We’re at a cultural crossroads in this country.”