Thursday, April 23, 2015

The country is moving further and further away from the GOP

By Richard Barry

A new Wasington Post-ABC News poll indicates that 6 in 10 Americans support same-sex marriage and also say that "individual states should not be allowed to define marriage as only between a man and a woman."
The Post-ABC poll finds 61 percent of Americans support allowing gays to marry and 35 percent are opposed. Support is up only slightly from last year but is a reversal from public sentiment a decade ago, when opponents outnumbered supporters 58 percent to 39 percent.

In the short and long run, support for same-sex marriage has grown significantly across demographic and political groups.

Among those under age 30, support has grown since 2005 from 57 percent to 78 percent. Among those 65 and over, it has increased from 18 percent to 46 percent. Support has also risen by double digits across partisan groups, though Democrats and independents have shifted the most.

Equally interesting is that more than 6 in 10 Republicans oppose allowing gay couples to marry, and 71 percent of conservative Republicans, who play an out-sized role in the party’s presidential primaries and caucuses.

Obviously, Republican hopefuls are going to state unequivocally their opposition to same-sex marriage, especially through the nomination process, but even then the language they use and the stridency they bring to the issue will be worth watching.

Certainly I don't believe a Republican can't win the general election while opposing same-sex marriage, but tone will matter, especially among voters who are on the periphery of the issue, accept it as a basic human right, and simply want the country to move on.

Any Republican who really digs in, as Bobby Jindal did today in the New York Times, will find him or herself on the wrong side of history and perhaps ultimate electoral success.

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