Social Issues in the 2012 Election

Remember when Republicans thought that social issues, especially gay marriage bans, would help them win the 2004 election? There’s good evidence that it wasn’t true even then. But take a look at 2012. Even though President Obama and the Democratic platform have endorsed marriage equality, Mitt Romney and the Republicans are staying well away from the issue.

And well they should. The Washington Post reported earlier this month:

In February, a poll by the [Des Moines Register] newspaper found that 56 percent of Iowans were opposed to legislative efforts to pass a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage. That is consistent with other swing states: Voters back gay marriage by 21 points in Florida, 15 points in Ohio and nine in Virginia, new Washington Post polls found.

A September Post poll in the crucial state of Ohio found that by 61 to 30 percent, registered voters said they trusted Obama “to do a better job dealing with social issues such as abortion and gay marriage.”

A poll published Sunday found that in swing-state Virginia

Obama also enjoys a wide lead among likely voters (56 percent to 35 percent) on the question of social issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriage.

Post polls also found that nationally 63 percent of the tiny number of genuine swing voters support gay marriage.

That sound you don’t hear, the sound of Republican speeches and ads denouncing Obama for his support of gay marriage? That’s the sound of social change.

Much more on these topics in our new ebook, The Libertarian Vote: Swing Voters, Tea Parties, and the Fiscally Conservative, Socially Liberal Center.