Iowa’s legalization of same-sex marriage already has the pundits pondering possible presidential permutations for the 2012 Republican Caucus.
Charlie Crist, Mike Huckabee, Jon Huntsman, Bobby Jindal, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Mark Sanford, and Newt Gingrich are all against gay marriage. The key difference: Crist and Huntsman favor civil unions for gay couples, while the other seven are against. That difference could possibly sway socially conservative Iowa caucus-goers. In 2008, despite a sagging economy and focus on the Iraq war, 45% of Republican caucus-goers listed “shares my values” as their most important candidate consideration. That number could climb even higher in 2012, if social issues jump to the forefront. The question is whether Crist’s and Huntsman’s support for civil unions will ultimately cost them more votes than they will gain.
Of course, the way they are falling apart right now, who knows WHAT the GOP will look like by 2012.