The presidential race of 2012 looks like it will be mimicking the latest runway styles by bringing back the oh so popular wedge.
No, I’m not talking about shoes like this one with a wedged heel, rather I’m talking about the return of the wedge issue of gay marriage to the presidential candidates’ resumes.
What is a wedge issue? According to bbc news, a wedge issue is “an issue that a politician might raise in order to drive a wedge between different groups within his opponent’s supporter base.” The same site even uses the example of same sex marriage as a wedge issue, saying that Republicans might propose to ban same sex marriage in order to attract voters who support the Democrats on most economic issues, but who feel strongly about social issues.
So what does this wedge issue have to do with the upcoming presidential election in 2012? Roll Call Politics says that Republican lawmakers in New Hampshire and Iowa are pushing this issue into the spotlight just as the candidates for presidency are wooing voters for the primaries.
Roll Call also explains that Cornerstone, a socially conservative think tank in New Hampshire, one of only a handful of states in the United States that allows same sex marriage, are moving to make same sex marriage a national issue as the timing seems right. Cornerstone will ask each Republican presidential candidate to sign a pledge agreeing marriage should be between one man and one woman.
Kevin Smith, executive director of Cornerstone, said in regards to pushing the wedge issue on the candidates, “Why not try to leverage the influence of the candidates to get them to declare their support for traditional marriage? If you have a candidate saying they’re not willing to oppose same-sex marriage, I think they’ll have a problem.”
This is a large shift from the 2010 election cycle as it largely kept social issues off of the table. Now, its obvious that social issues like this one are going to be used to energize and rally the conservative voting base.
Heads up! The conservatives are coming, the conservatives are coming!
Be on the look out for more legislative action, especially in New Hampshire and Iowa where this wedge issue is quickly becoming a hot topic. I will, as always, keep you updated.