This poll is from CBS News.
A majority of Americans (57 percent) continue to say it should be legal for same-sex couples to marry, although that’s down three points from a high reached in February. Most Democrats (66 percent ) and independents (61 percent ) think same-sex marriage should be legal, while most Republicans (61 percent ) do not.
Still, just over half of Americans (51 percent) think small business owners should be allowed to refuse wedding services to same-sex couples if it violates their religious beliefs; 42 percent think those businesses should be required to provide those services. There are sharp partisan differences on this issue.
I found the numbers in this poll troubling – it seems to me that the support for same-sex marriage over religious liberty is worse than I thought.
According to this Washington Examiner article, Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz appear to be the toughest defenders of religious liberty, with Walker and Rubio in the second tier.
Evangelical Christian voters are facing an unusual problem: they may have too many choices when it comes to the 2016 presidential election. Several Republican candidates are vying for their support, viewing the voting bloc as a key stepping stone to the nomination.
More than ever before, evangelical sources say, candidates will need to focus on the issue of religious liberty to win this crucial vote, especially in states like Iowa. Many evangelicals felt Indiana Gov. Mike Pence failed to stand up for his state’s Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, which animated conservative Christians across the country.
Steve Deace, a leading talk radio personality in Iowa, believes the impact of Pence’s decision on voters in his state cannot be understated. “There’s a better chance Hillary Clinton will be the [GOP] nominee next year than Mike Pence,” Deace told the Washington Examiner. “Religious freedom is going to be the biggest issue. It has become a transcendent issue. It’s bigger than life, it’s bigger than marriage.”
[…]Bob Vander Plaats, the CEO of the social conservative group the Family Leader, is a kingmaker of sorts in Iowa who has gained influence in the state by leading the effort to remove three Iowa Supreme Court judges from office because of a decision in favor of gay marriage. In 2008, he endorsed former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. In 2012, he picked former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa.
This time, Vander Plaats expects to endorse someone around the Thanksgiving holiday, and said Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are the Republicans that have already impressed him.
[…]Deace said that after the candidate forum he moderated in Des Moines, Iowa, last month, he believes Cruz and Jindal to be the early favorites among evangelical voters. But many evangelical voters, he says, have interest in Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and have not yet made a decision. Unlike recent elections past, Deace says evangelical listeners who are loyal members of his audience want someone who has the organization and financing capable of winning the Republican nomination.
“They’re tired of the false choice of choosing between the guy who believes in something and the guy who raises a bunch of money,” Deace said. “They want the guy who believes in something to raise a bunch of money. … They’re not necessarily looking for the nice guy, or the guy who says ‘Jesus’ the most.”
Evangelicals have several good candidates this time in the primary. I am still favoring Jindal and Walker above all the others, and I’m happy to see that they are seen as solid on religious liberty.