Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Wedge issue

Gays in the military wedges Republicans, gay marriage fades in impact. Support for gays serving openly in the military rose to 60% nationwide, with majorities in the South supporting:
Republicans are divided on the issue ­ 46% favor allowing gays to serve openly and 46% are opposed. A majority of conservative Republicans oppose such a policy, while moderate and liberal Republicans favor it by a wide margin (62%-29%). Democrats of all ideological groups tend to favor allowing gays in the military, though liberal Democrats are nearly universal in their support (85%-9%). Independents also favor the policy by a 66%-to-30% margin.
This has a lot of potential as an issue. It's something the Democratic base backs and that moderate Republicans are ready to listen. Allowing openly gay people to serve increases the pool of suitable candidates, strengthens the military, and divides Republicans. Win-win.