Nate Silver has this new chart tracking the growing public support for same-sex marriage. “If support for gay marriage were to continue accelerating as fast as it has in the past two years, supporters would outnumber opponents roughly 56-40 in the general population by November 2012,” he concludes:
“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,” Silver writes. Growing support for marriage may explain why Boehner did not kick the House’ defense of DOMA news into higher gear and hasn’t committed to holding votes on marriage bills, like the measure that would eliminate same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia.
Matt Yglesias rightfully suggests that this kind of data should also push President Obama to “evolve” in his support for same-sex marriage. Not only is that the right position, but it would also mainstream the issue in the Democratic party and likely push public support for marriage way past the 50 percent mark. At that point, “Justice Kennedy and the four other liberals and moderates favor marriage equality on the merits, they can now rest assured that a pro-equality ruling would be politically sustainable.”