Saturday, June 03, 2006

The unlikely nightmare scenario

I know all the polls show Gov. Bob Riley with a quite comfortable lead over former Chief Justice Roy Moore headed into next week's Republican gubernatorial primary. But I suddenly have a bad feeling gnawing at the back of my mind that says the proposed state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage may be a bigger get-out-the-vote device among social conservatives, large numbers of whom support Moore, than political experts realize.

President Bush's decision to devote two major speeches in three days to a proposed federal constitutional ban ensures the issue will be fresh in gay marriage opponents' minds as the Alabama primaries arrive, and the sudden reignition of the debate may kindle in them a sense of urgency that otherwise would have been absent. I still doubt Moore will do much better than coming within 10 or 12 points of Riley, but if anything could fuel an unexpected Granite King upset, the gay marriage vote would be it.

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