Not only the Republican Party, but also its most manipulative and destructive tactics, were severely wounded (though not yet killed off) last night. For the first time ever, the voters of a state -- Arizona -- have rejected a referendum which would have added to the state constitution a ban on same-sex marriages. From The Arizona Republic:
The Protect Marriage Initiative, which would amend the state Constitution to ban same-sex unions, is trailing by a slim margin.
With 96 percent of the polls reporting, 48.6 percent have voted for while 51.4 percent are voting against the proposition. . . .
Opponents say the measure is a largely symbolic attack on gays. Critics also say the measure could take away benefits from partners or heterosexual couples as well as gays.
Now with 99% of the precincts reporting, the amendment trails by more than 30,000 votes and appears certain to fail. And that is in a red state which, at the same time, re-elected a conservative Senator. Similarly, the same-sex marriage referendum in red state South Dakota only barely passed (52-48) -- outside of Arizona, the smallest margin ever for such a referendum.
Worse (for the GOP), although similar amendments passed in Virginia and Wisconsin, having the amendment on the ballot did not save the Republicans, as they lost their Senate seat and Govenorship, respectively, in those two states. Like most of their other demonizing tactics, this is rapidly becoming a dry well for the Republicans.