Oh Those Politically Damaging Social Issues Strike Again!

by Maggie Gallagher

As Noah Glyn points out, Rasmussen is reporting that Romney now leads Obama 50 percent to 43 percent in its daily tracking poll. It’s the first time Romney has been over 50 percent. Weirdly, they attribute it to last week’s disappointing jobs number. No mention of the whole high-profile “I am a pro–gay-marriage American” flip on the president’s part.

We spent a whole week debating gay marriage in the media, starting with Joe Biden’s endorsement on national TV Sunday, a media frenzy over how evolved the president was going to be, a huge victory for marriage in North Carolina, followed by an exclusive major TV interview in which the president endorsed gay marriage. Obama endorses gay marriage, and Romney opposes it. Romney jumps to a 50 percent to 43 percent lead. Coincidence?

My friend and colleague Jeffrey Bell’s new book, The Case for Polarized Politics: Why America Needs Social Conservatism documents the strange ongoing reluctance of GOP and even conservative elites to admit the obvious: The social issues help us win elections.

None of which is to deny the sour economy is the most important single issue. But we don’t have to run on only one issue.

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