Maggie — I agree with your bottom line, that being pro-gay-marriage for the reasons outlined by Meghan McCain and Steve Schmidt is a dumb political strategy, and will do no good for the GOP.
But this is New York, and making your party revival and campaign about opposing gay marriage isn’t a good strategy either.
As for those numbers in the Daily News, well, a reader just called my attention to this Siena NY poll mentioned in the Daily News blog “The Daily Politics.” The headline — “Paterson, No. Gay Marriage, Yes” — says it all. Governor Paterson’s favorable/unfavorable ratings are 27/63, down from last month. Voters disapprove strongly of his actions on all matters of budget, tax, and economic policy, and his behavior concerning the Senate-seat appointment. The only thing voters seem to like, across the state, is his proposal for legalizing gay marriage — which they approve of, 53–39.
That is dismaying, but not unexpected. New York has one of the highest gay populations in the nation, and they vote and pay taxes. Giuliani always did quite well (for a Republican) with gay voters. It’s hard to imagine that he, or anyone, could afford to alienate them directly and win.