Voters to GOP: Don’t Falter at the Altar
By Tony Perkins
Republican voters don’t just support natural marriage — they expect their candidates to! That was abundantly clear Tuesday, when local exit polls starting streaming in. For conservatives, the data was a gold mine on social issues that will help debunk the Left’s tall tales about the popularity of same-sex “marriage.” In state after state, voters refused to give an inch on marriage — and instead exposed how exaggerated the cultural shift has been.
Despite what the media would have you believe, the public opinion battle has been a bigger one than the Left bargained for — with most Americans’ views barely budging on an institution the courts are so anxious to redefine. A month after a Pew poll showed support for same-sex “marriage” dipping, the issue was front and center in a few key Senate races — including North Carolina, Iowa, and Arkansas.
Thom Tillis, who, just weeks ago, was down in his race, starting picking up steam when he took a public stand to defend the Tarheels’ marriage amendment (which 57% still support). That’s consistent with the stories in Kansas with Senator Pat Roberts (R) and Iowa, where Joni Ernst never wavered on a topic too many moderates run from. As much as the Republican Establishment hates to admit it, marriage was a key ingredient in the recipe to defeat Democrats.
The numbers bear that out in at least seven states where pollsters asked the question. Seven out of 10 voters in my home state of Louisiana said they opposed same-sex “marriage,” which is almost identical to their northern neighbors in Arkansas, where 69% rejected the idea. In Virginia, where candidate Ed Gillespie stood with marriage, 53% of Virginians stood with him and disagreed with the move to redefine marriage. South Carolina, home of newly elected social conservative Senator Tim Scott (R), two-thirds of voters identified with him on marriage. Georgia (62%) and Ohio (a majority) echoed the pro-marriage refrain. Of the exit stats we could find, only Florida was competitive — with the two sides dead even (48% to 48%) on the question.
Of course, this is all consistent with what Americans have said with their ballots — both for and against marriage amendments in their home states. For all the Left’s hype, only three states have actively voted to redefine marriage — which barely adds up to about 5% of the population — hardly the consensus liberals claim it is. Rasmussen, Fox News, and even Politico polling have all shown the debate holding steady despite — or maybe because of — the assault from the courts. As plenty of Tuesday’s candidates will tell you, supporting marriage doesn’t just put you on the right side of history — but the right side of the win column too!
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law.
(Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)
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