We go now to California where polls are opening. It is the state with the largest number of electoral votes — 55 electoral votes, 17.3 million registered voters. Special correspondent for KPCC in Pasadena, Kitte Felde joins us. She's at the Springfield Missionary Baptist Church in southwest L.A. Kitte, what's it look like where you are?
Oh my God, John, I got here at 7 to help op — excuse me, at 6 to help open up the doors, and there was already one voter in line. Right now, 15 minutes before the polls open, there are 12 people in the vestibule and another 25 people lined up outside the building, and it just now stopped raining!
Wow. So what, what is driving people to the polls? I mean, California is a solidly blue state. There are ballot measures. Ballot measure 8 is really important, but what do you think is driving people to the polls?
Two words, Barack Obama –
- just especially in this neighborhood. We need the key to the back gate to let in the — to open the door. He says you have the key. Sorry about that. We're trying to get our polling station open here.
This is a largely African-American polling place where I am, and so there are a lot of people, especially over a certain age. For them, this is so incredibly historic.
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They were fightin’ about who was gonna be the first one to vote this morning. That's how important this election is, in this particular precinct. So it doesn't matter that California was gonna be blue anyway. Their vote matters. They believe that.
All right, Proposition 8, which is on the ballot is about banning same-sech marria — sex marriage in the state of California. What do you think the chances are of that ballot measure? And how much is it driving polling in maybe more conservative counties?
Well, it has drawn the largest amount of money, as far as campaigns go here in California. It may be the most expensive ballot proposition ever fought anywhere in the country. And a lot of folks will be coming out for that. I don't know that — that that will be enough to drive voters out in the conservative areas. There's been some speculation about that.
There's also been some speculation that some of the more churchy African-American voters in –
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- what are considered more liberal areas may also vote for that measure.
And I should mention that the State Supreme Court has allowed gay marriages here in California. What this measure would do is turn back the clock and insert it into our State Constitution, forbidding gay marriages. So that's what folks are votin’ on here. And they're expecting that vote to be extremely close.
Well, Kitte, we will be asking you about those churchy African-American voters tomorrow when we talk to you, as well as, we should point out, the — not much of a cliffhanger national race; Obama is up by 24 points or 22 or 27 points, depending on which poll you look at. Thanks so much for joining us.
You're welcome, John.
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Kitte Felde helping to open the polls there at the Springfield Missionary Baptist Church in southwest L.A. She's a special correspondent for our member station, KPCC in Pasadena, California.