The newest ABC/WaPo poll suggests a serious underlying shift in public opinion on several issues, with stability on some others. On two issues on which the Dish has campaigned for many years - decriminalization of marijuana and legalization of civil marriage for gay couples - some seismic change seems to have occurred. The CBS poll also revealed this. But there is now a tiny national majority in the ABC poll in favor of marriage equality - 49 - 46:
More than half, moreover -- 53 percent -- say gay marriages held legally in another state should be recognized as legal in their states.
The surprise is that the shift has occurred across ideological groups. While conservatives are least apt to favor gay marriage, they've gone from 10 percent support in 2004 to 19 percent in 2006 and 30 percent now -- overall a 20-point, threefold increase, alongside a 13-point gain among liberals and 14 points among moderates. (Politically, support for gay marriage has risen sharply among Democrats and independents alike, while far more slightly among Republicans.)
Call me crazy (and they do) but that 30 percent of self-described conservatives now favor marriage equality is a massive achievement in terms of moving public opinion. But these folks are not conservative Republicans - which is why this issue could suddenly become a real problem for the GOP.