Nate Silver at the New York Times reports on the mounting poll evidence that opponents of same-sex marriage are now in the minority.
It’s important to remember this is the straight-up question on marriage — not civil unions or equal rights under the law for gay people, which much larger majorities have long supported.
But older voters vote disproportionately and there, until sufficient years pass, the political trouble lies. Silver concludes:
Past trends, of course, are no guarantee of future ones, and it’s always possible that the momentum toward increasing support for gay marriage could flatten out or even reverse itself.
But this does put Republicans in a tricky position. Their traditional position on gay marriage is becoming less popular. But to the extent they disengage from the issue, they may lose even more ground. One way to read the trends of the past few years is that we have passed an inflection point wherein it is no longer politically advantageous for candidates to oppose same-sex marriage, which in turn softens opposition to it among the general public, creating a sort of feedback loop.
The growing list of Republican presidential candidates calling for a return of legalized discrimination against gays in the military suggests old habits die hard. And then there’s David Barton, guru of the Religious Right (and Mike Huckabee, the Hot Springs mayor and others.) He’s still flogging “gay indoctrination” in schools.