Those who are libertarian-minded can take heart from this election analysis by the head of the highly regarded Pew Research Center, who writes:
…on balance, Americans remain moderate—holding a mix of liberal and conservative views. They generally believe that small government is better and that ObamaCare is bad. But the exit poll shows that 59% believe abortion should be legal, 65% support a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants, and a surprising plurality support legalizing same-sex marriage in their states. Threading the ideological needle with this electorate is vital for the Republicans in the future—and for the Democrats, too.
Democrats run the risk of over-reaching (again) if they think the election was a vindication for bigger and bigger “progressive” government.
More. A similar analysis, via the L.A. Times, “Has America gone from center-right to center libertarian?“:
the majority of the country remains slightly right of center when it comes to supporting lower spending, decreased debt and smaller government. But America appears to have shifted left of center in allowing more liberal policies on drugs and the institution of marriage. So, left on social issues and right on economics.
But that’s not the message being heard by the Obama administration, congressional Democrats and progressive activists, nor by many Republican officeholders and social conservative activists.
Furthermore. Waltor Olson has further analysis of how, in Maryland, GOP support was crucial for victory in the marriage referendum:
Republicans voted for Question 6 [in favor of marriage equality] in serious numbers around all the state’s major centers of population: in the Baltimore and Annapolis areas, in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., and in Frederick. And while the trend showed itself everywhere from small farm towns to blue-collar suburbs, it appears to have been strongest in the best-educated and most economically successful Republican communities. …
This spring, President Obama famously announced that his views on same-sex marriage had evolved. Faster than almost anyone seems to have predicted, views appear to be evolving among educated Republican voters in states like Maryland, as well. When will the leadership of the GOP get around to evolving, too?
More still. David Lampo writes, “Stop damning Republicans and start talking to them”:
It is time for gay rights leaders and supporters to embrace pro-gay Republicans and work with them to develop a long-term strategy that brings the message of freedom and social tolerance to every Republican leader and candidate and does not allow the religious right to frame these issues to their fellow Republicans through the lens of bigotry and intolerance. Only then can a strong, truly bipartisan movement for gay rights blossom.
Well, LGBT movement leaders could start by not working overtime to defeat leading gay-supportive Republican officeholders, like soon-to-be former Sen. Scott Brown. Alas, a “strong, truly bipartisan movement for gay rights” is the last thing these party hacks want.