Only in Indiana

Over at the Daily Beast, Andrew Sullivan has posted a memo he somehow obtained from a Republican pollster–the same guy who did polling for George W. Bush.   The advice he gives GOP candidates–based upon his reading of recent poll results–is pretty astonishing; he bluntly warns that continuing its anti-gay positions and rhetoric will “marginalize the party for a generation,” because public opinion about gay equality is shifting so quickly.

According to his data, even a majority of Republicans favor basic civil rights protections for gays and lesbians, and the rate of acceptance is accelerating.

Now, I understand that Republicans in states like New York and Massachussetts are more likely to endorse equal treatment for LBGT folks than Republicans–and Democrats–in considerably less progressive Indiana. But even here, most of my own Republican friends react to anti-gay rhetoric with distaste. A not-inconsiderable number of them favor same-sex marriage. My students–Republican and Democrat alike–are almost unanimous in their support, and bewildered by the opposition.

What was that Dylan song? Something about it not taking a weathervane to see where the wind is blowing?

This change in public opinion is hardly a secret; especially since the President’s “evolution” on the issue, it has pretty much been front-page news. So why on earth would John Gregg reiterate not only his opposition to same-sex marriage, but his support for a constitutional amendment banning it?

The Gregg campaign has made several missteps already. Most of them, however, have involved the sort of in-party squabbling that hobbles a candidate organizationally, but not necessarily publicly. This, however, is one of those “unforced errors” that makes savvy political folks wince.

All John Gregg has to do in order to get progressive voters to support him is to not be Mike Pence. How hard is that?

Wrong side of history, wrong side of morality, wrong side of logic.

Rupert must be so pleased.


  1. Evidently, for John, it’s difficult. Oy.
    Trying to help with the messaging, but…..there’s the timing too. Why would a gubernatorial candidate speak out within 24 hours of the incumbent President’s historic announcement?
    No one was clammering for the Indiana Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s views on this subject.
    It was an answer in search of a question.

  2. “All John Gregg has to do in order to get progressive voters to support him is to not be Mike Pence. How hard is that?”

    THIS!!!! But once again, we have a Dem that wants to cant Right to try and out-dickhead the dickhead.

    BE THE DAMN OPPOSITION! You don’t even have to be particularly “progressive” to be more progressive than MIKE FREAKIN’ PENCE! *grumble grumble*

  3. This is sure to be a game changer for Mr. Gregg, inasmuch as his stance(s) will certainly preclude him from being able to energize the base. Democrats, who opt to vote, will vote for him, but they are less likely to campaign for him. Combine that with those who will just opt to stay home on election day and it’s not to early for Mrs. Pence to hire an interior decorator. Game over. But, so very disappointing, as he could have had a shot.

  4. With views like that, John Gregg might as well withdraw from the race and not go to the trouble. As an Indiana voter, why on earth would I bother to support a candidate who apparently holds the same views as the guy I can’t stand (Pence)?

    I could stomach voting for a candidate who says he’s personally not in agreement with same sex marriage but is open to discussion. I cannot in good conscience vote for a candidate who wants to amend Indiana’s constitution to prohibit same sex marriage.

  5. Donnelly is against same-sex marriage, too, and voted against adding LGBT Americans to federal hate crimes protections. The Libertarians are looking better and better!

  6. Yeah, just got an email from Donnelly asking for money. I replied how disappointed I was that he and Gregg thought it appropriate to comment on the issue without being asked and I asked to be removed from both of their mailing lists.

  7. What needs to be hammered home over and over again in Hoosierland is that the proposed state constitutional amendment (HJR-6) IS NOT just about “gay marriage”. The second sentence contains a MUCH MORE SWEEPING prohibition against recognition of ANY legal status “substantially imilar”to marriage. And it’s more draconian that even the North Carolina measure. At least the latter exempts private contracts/employers, and says courts can still enfocre them. HJR-6 leaves that very important exception completely out.

  8. John Gregg and Joe Donnelly are as conservative as you can get and still call yourself a Democrat. Their supporters point to the sole example of Evan Bayh, who is of like views, as illustration that only conservative Democrats can get elected in Indiana.

  9. very sad that the democrat is coming out against basic civil rights j for gay people i will not vote for him even though i am a staunch democrat

  10. Evidently Mr. Gregg isn’t paying attention to Republican pollsters. He really needs to, if only on the principal of knowing your enemy. I hope it’s early enough in the campaign for him to recover from this idiocy…or at least not dig himself any deeper. I will still work for him, and vote for him, but at this point it pretty much is only because he’s “not Mike Pence”. I’d better stick to stuffing envelopes, though; I’m sure my lack of enthusiasm would be apparent in my voice.

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