Outside of the gay rights movement, few Minnesotans had thought any changes to the state marriage policy were in order until recently, when some GOP movers and shakers thought it would be good strategy to make a ballot issue of it. Maybe it would get Republicans out to the polls. Too bad they hadn’t asked my opinion.
Public Policy Polling reports today that, while Democrats and Republicans are predictably 70+% on one side or the other Minnesota independents have moved to oppose the marriage amendment 54% to 37%, a flip from 50% – 40% support.
Minnesota, more than most states, is won and lost with independents. This is the state that sent Paul Wellstone to the US Senate and Jesse Ventura to the Governor’s mansion. We do not react well to manipulation.
We may have socially conservative sensibilities, but forcing us to take a settled matter to a constitutional level was not going to be received well. Hence the pushback.
Making an issue of marriage — when all anyone really cared about this year was the economy and government overreach and crony capitalism such as a People’s Stadium — has opened a discussion wherein Minnesota independents, including partisans who are simply independent-minded, are wondering why government is in marriage in the first place.
Dear GOP, I’ve been with you my entire life, but either get the focus onto fiscal responsibility and stop trying to regulate business and personal behavior, or get out of the way.