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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Fading Culture Wars a Downer for GOP

Evidence continues to mount that the American public is becoming more tolerant of same-sex marriage and immigration — two of the hot button ‘cultural’ issues the Republicans hoped to exploit in upcoming elections. As Ruy Teixeira reports in a recent edition of his “Public Opinion Snapshot” at the Center for American Progress web pages,

…Consider these data on gay marriage—perhaps the most contentious of all cultural issues—from the most recent Washington Post/ABC News poll. In that poll for the first time a plurality of Americans (49-46) endorsed the idea that it should be legal for gay and lesbian couples to get married. And support for legalizing gay marriage was even higher among 18- to 29-year-olds (66 percent). This suggests that we will see even stronger public support for gay marriage as more members of the rising Millennial generation enter adulthood in years to come.


…In the same poll, 61 percent supported a program to allow illegal immigrants now living in the United States to live here legally if they pay a fine and meet other requirements, compared to 35 percent who opposed such a program. That’s up from a narrow 49-46 split in favor back in December of 2007. And, as with gay marriage, support for immigration reform is even stronger among young Americans at 73 percent.

Absent the myriad distractions presented by cultural classhes of earlier years, Teixeira notes, the GOP will be forced to persuade voters that their policies “actually work and will solve people’s problems….Given that they have little to offer except retreads from the disastrous Bush administration, it could be a tough sell.”

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