It didn’t take the top two Democrat contenders in Indiana even a full day to distance themselves from their party’s standard-bearer on the issue of undefining marriage. Both US Senatorial Candidate Joe Donnelly and Gubernatorial Candidate John Gregg wanted the media to know that, unlike President Obama, they support preserving marriage as between a man and a woman.
Though Gregg said he had a position similar to that of Governor Daniels and wished “lawmakers would just drop the issue as a policy matter.” He made it clear that he does not support legalizing gay marriage. I have heard from several sources that when the Democrats lost control of the Indiana House a few years ago, the former House Speaker (Gregg) told then new former Speaker, Pat Bauer, that he lost his majority because the Democrats had blocked a vote on marriage protection. Donnelly has not said where he stands on an amendment to keep judges from forcing the issue of homosexual marriage upon America’s churches, businesses and schools.
The fact of the matter is that in Indiana, outside of the newsroom of the Indianapolis Star and our college campuses, there are really very few areas in which there is a majority support for unraveling the institution of marriage into an anything goes proposition. Out of all 150 state legislators there were only 36 who voted against protecting marriage last year.
Even the liberal New York Times poll, which over-sampled Democrats, found that only 38% of Americans agreed with the President’s position. What is interesting is that the internals of their poll and those from ABC News/Washington Post found the intensity gap in the polling is at least 10 points stronger among those who strongly oppose the undefining of marriage, than those who strongly support it. This is particularly true among the much sought out, “independent voters." Pew Research was surprised to find that in a campaign dominated by economic news, 28% of the voters surveyed still said that the marriage issue is “very important.” Gallup analyst Jeffrey Jones called the President’s marriage announcement a "net minus" for his re-election campaign.
There is also the question of what does this do to one of the key components of the Democratic base. In North Carolina the marriage protection amendment last week passed by 60% or more in every single county which had a majority of African-American voters. To the north of us, in Michigan, when their amendment passed, it saw majority support from union households as well as African-American voters. The same is probably true of Ohio and Kentucky.
Make no mistake, The President’s “evolution” on the issue of marriage, (to which there has never been any evolution better than the original one man and one woman) may prove to be the devolution that marks this as his last year in office.