The gay marriage ruling a game changer in Ga-4? UPDATED

Posted: July 9, 2010 by datechguy in elections, internet/free speech, opinion/news
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I had already given my appraisal of Ga-4, but this Gay Marriage ruling is a gamechanger. I’ve already declared Liz Carter the stronger candidate on the republican side. Her position on Gay Marriage wasn’t going to hurt much, economics was the issue and her gay marriage position wouldn’t matter in the house.

Now almost certainly another push will come for a constitutional amendment and Carter’s vote goes from unimportant to critical. With Cory Ruth a Black minister on the ticket some conservatives already had pragmatically decided he was the best choice to oppose Hank Johnson in a majority black district. Now this ruling gives social conservatives a reason to defect. Ruth would also put black ministers on the spot. They might support Johnson over Carter but they would have a very hard time endorsing Johnson over a black minister who opposes gay marriage.

If the election was this Tuesday rather than next Tuesday it might have been too late to hurt Carter, but Ruth will have a full week to play this up. It is his best chance to pull this off. This is where the mettle of both candidates will be tested. Can Carter hold on? (perhaps) Will she flip flop (not a chance), does the youthful Ruth have the killer instinct to use the advantage that he has just been given? (no idea) And can Victor Armendariz use this to take enough votes who might defect from Carter who might not like Ruth to force his way into a runoff? (very unlikely)

If you asked me yesterday to bet money it would have been Liz all the way. Today, I just don’t know, if it was Massachusetts Liz would still win. In Ga? This is where all the hard work and goodwill she established before this ruling is put to the test. This is WHY you put in that work and fight so hard. You can’t match on every issue so the strength of personality makes a ton of difference.

On the democratic side it’s the same. Johnson was going to win it in a walk but he has supported Gay Marriage right along so unless he flip flops Vernon Jones has the same opening that Cory Ruth does, and it’s my impression that Jones has more of a killer instinct than Ruth. Will it be enough? I just don’t know.

In a general election Carter v Johnson the dynamics would not change, but Ruth vs Johnson would really be tough for the democrats. What black minister wants to risk their congregation and living to endorse a candidate in favor of gay marriage when the alternative is a fellow black minister?

If Jones pulls it off then he plays this card against Liz to counter the character issue. From everything I’ve heard about Vernon I don’t know if it would be enough

It sure isn’t going to be boring.

Update: I talked to Liz Carter this morning. She confirmed that her position on marriage remains unchanged. In her opinion this is a 10th amendment issue and the Federal government has no business dictating to individual states on this or any other issue not constitutionally prescribed (obamacare anyone?). The 10th amendment grounds on which this ruling is based is consistent with her position. There is no better year to be running on this idea.

It would be very easy to change or clarify a position to head off a potential problem. We have seen pol after pol to this and conservatives are sick and tired of it. It is really refreshing to see someone unwilling to play that game. That’s a sign of integrity, rare in a pol, but not surprising to anyone who has spent any time at all with Liz Carter.

While I’ve been back in Massachusetts she has continued to work hard picking up some solid endorsements. She has also continued to make inroads in the black community taking the campaign directly to them. It’s really hard to demonize a person that you have made a personal impression on. This is where retail politics pays off big and will likely still pay off. Tip O’Neill always said “All Politics is local”. Liz Carter has learned this lesson well.

Update 2: Of course it is easier to take advantage of a new issue with the base if you aren’t advocating moving Haitian refugees to the US en masse to congress.

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