2006 Ain't 2004

The Sunday New York Times "Week in Review" section featured an analysis by Adam Nagourney about the strategy of using civil unions and marriage bans to drive voter turn out among a certain portion of the conservative base.
The question for Republicans, then, is how to draw this crucial group to the polls and keep them voting for the party's candidates. The short answer is that some of what may have worked last time--like anti-gay-marriage initiatives--is on the runway, ready to go. But 2006 is nothing like 2004; and the get-out-the-vote tools wielded last time do not seem quite as formidable this year.
He speculates that the issue may not fire up people like it appeared to do in 2004.

Yet there is a strong sense among Republicans that the gay rights issue is not as powerful as it once was, particularly when it comes to state initiatives like the one in Ohio that helped Mr. Bush carry the state in 2004. Republicans are running out of contested states where such a ballot could qualify and pass, and gay rights groups have been more aggressive in fighting these initiatives as they appear.

"Gay marriage is not the magic bullet to get us out of our situation," said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina.

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