Thursday, October 26, 2006


From New Jersey, With Gay Love...

I would like to thank New Jersey's Supreme Court. You just boosted voting for the marriage amendments in the eight states that will see state constitutional amendments on the ballot, for sure. What is less clear is the effect that your decision to violate the New Jersey government's separation of powers by holding the legislature hostage in the name of gay marriage will have nationally.

It's certainly a help to the Right. Larry Sabato - one of the recognized experts of election prediction - foresees the New Jersey decision as a campaign Excalibur (hat tip: Terry Frank):

In the face of renewed calls to arms against gay marriage and civil unions, anti-gay marriage ballot initiatives in eight states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin) would now be favored to prevail with more sizeable margins than initially anticipated. But more importantly for our purposes, added evangelical turnout could prove a decisive boon to GOP turnout in key races for control of Congress all over the nation--perhaps in Tennessee and Virginia's absolutely crucial Senate races.

The Crystal Ball reads the implications of this political hot potato with caution. It's possible that the story could fade from media memory in a day and ultimately be forgotten by voters; it's also possible that the political impact of the Garden State's ruling could be conveyed by religious conservative organizations under the radar, only surfacing to haunt the Democrats on November 7th. Time will tell. Nonetheless, Democrats are now scratching their heads and asking, "Why couldn't New Jersey's Supreme Court have announced this decision November 8th?" If Democrats' gains are not as robust as they would have liked when the votes are counted twelve days from now, Republicans may always take glee in this order of events.


Sabato didn't go into specifics, but the big winners from this ruling seem to be New Jersey's Tom Kean (who has pulled even in the most recent poll), Tennessee Bob Corker, and Virginia's George Allen.

Thank you, liberal New Jersey judges. Your timing to release such a ruling couldn't have been better.

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