Gay bashing worked for Republicans in 2002 and 2004, and on this today's Fox News Sunday, The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes suggests that it's a winning issue for John McCain in 2008:
"He needs to touch on, and - some of the social issues which energize the right. In particular, gays in the military for one. We know Barack Obama is for allowing gays in the military, and Bill Clinton tried to do and then backed off. This is not a popular issue. Gay marriage is another one. These are both issues that I think McCain's gonna have to use. He can't ignore the right. If he does, he'll lose."
I'll agree with Fred, this kind of bigotry will win McCain a few points with the fringe haters that make up the shrinking base of the GOP, but the climate in 2008 is much different than in previous election years. I don't see gay bashing as a strong issue this year as voters are much more focused on issues such as their empty gas tanks and bank accounts, as well as the overwhelming need to find a solution to get our troops out of Iraq and a strong desire to avoid war with Iran.