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Karl Rove says gay marriage won't be the issue in '08 that it was in '04

For many voters, it’s an article of faith that political consultant Karl Rove orchestrated the 2004 ballot fight over same-sex marriage to help push conservatives to the polls. In the process, the theory goes, those voters helped George W. Bush win reelection.

Rove takes a somewhat different view. He says backers of same-sex marriage started the fight by filing suits and winning a Supreme Court decision in Massachusetts.

Whatever his role was four years ago, Rove predicted in an interview that the issue would be less important in 2008. "It has a lower profile, but it will be an issue in people’s minds," Rove said. "The bigger issues will be the economy, terrorism, healthcare, energy."Samesex_marriage_impact_on_the_elec

This November, three states -- Arizona, California and Florida -- will vote on the issue. Whether it will have an effect on the presidential contest remains to be seen.

Arizona almost certainly will vote for its favorite son, John McCain. California is likely solid for Barack Obama. Florida is one state viewed as a swing state.

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and California's Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of whom are backing McCain, have distanced themselves from the propositions (it's Proposition 8 on California's Nov. 4 ballot), saying there are more important issues to consider.

Rove said that’s true -- to a point. He said the question could weigh in the minds of some people in what he called the "complicated algorithms" that determine how they vote. "Values always play a role in a campaign," he said.

There is disagreement over whether same-sex marriage -- or any divisive issue -- draws voters to the polls in a presidential election year. Most experts agree that voters turn out to vote for president, not a state ballot measure.

But there is some evidence that the same-sex marriage measure helped in the swing state of Ohio, one of 11 states in the 2004 general election where voters cast ballots on definition-of-marriage measures. Bush sealed his reelection by winning narrowly in Ohio over John Kerry.

As happened in 2004, Rove noted, the 2008 candidates have staked out their positions. McCain, like Bush, supports the ballot measures. Obama, like Kerry, opposes the measures, but says he opposes same-sex marriage.

-- Dan Morain

Photo credit: Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (5)

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It is criminal how LGBT familes, with and without children, have to "wait patiently" for the SAME legal protections that are handed out LIKE CANDY to heterosexuals. For many in the LGBT community, we have lost all patience with both voters and politicians when it comes to JUSTICE and COMMON DECENCY concerning our families, so we are doing what we CAN do - withholding tax until we are treated EQUALLY. Those interested in joining this fight can GOOGLE "Gay Tax Protest" to find out about my own protest, and find links to others.

It's nonsensical for any person (for instance, Obama) to say you're against gay marriage while also saying you're against any law that restricts gay marriage.

For instance, he would never say, "I oppose the Iraq war but oppose all bills that would force us to withdraw."

It leads to only one conclusion: Obama supports gay marriage, but doesn't want to say it because of the political fallout.

"It leads to only one conclusion: Obama supports gay marriage, but doesn't want to say it because of the political fallout."

So what? Who cares? Why do you think this "insight" is insightful/important/interesting? How is this any different from every other politician currently running for President?

This Thursday, August 14th, from 5:30 p.m - 8:30 p.m. at 2020 Main Street, Irvine, California:

ACTION ALERT: Tell the Right-Wing Consultants NO to Prop 8!

Is Karl Rove out of prison? I thought that criminals of his caliber were locked up for life. In fact, by betraying a government agent and subjecting them to life threatening conditions, I am absolutely astonished that he has not been executed as a terrorist.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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