Obama move inspires Christian support for Romney
President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage is energizing Christian conservative support for Mitt Romney in a way that the likely GOP nominee has so far not been able to do on his own, according to religious leaders and activists.
Pastors in Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and other swing states are readying Sunday sermons inveighing against same-sex unions, while activist groups have begun laying plans for social media campaigns, leaflet drives and other get-out-the-vote efforts centered on the same-sex marriage issue. Romney could benefit from a strong turnout among evangelicals and other social conservatives, many of whom remain skeptical of his commitment to their causes.
“So many people were rather lukewarm toward Governor Romney and were really looking for some more tangible reasons to support him,” said Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values, who led the ballot drive that banned gay marriage in Ohio in 2004. “Then lo and behold, it just fell out of the sky when Obama came out and endorsed same-sex marriage. . . . We are going to make this our key issue: the attack on marriage.”
The National Organization for Marriage, a leading anti-gay-marriage group, lashed out at Obama after his announcement and promised to campaign against him “ceaselessly” in swing states.
Same-sex marriage has long been a galvanizing political force for core constituencies in both parties, particularly conservative Catholics and evangelical Republicans. But the president’s public embrace of the idea alters the landscape in ways that promise to complicate the political calculus for both sides.
...I still think it was a mistake for Obama to elevate gay marriage as an issue, but he was apparently desperate for the money the gay groups could bundle for him. But all that money is coming at a very heavy cost if he is pushing ambivalent Christians into supporting Romney. It will not help Obama's cause to demonize these voters and others who, as a matter of faith, believe gay marriage is wrong. That will only amp up and motivate them to vote against him. I think we already seeing movement in the Rasmussen tracking poll toward Romney. Running negative ads against him with the money he raised from gay groups is unlikely to pay dividends.