A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that support for repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell continues to grow across party lines and across ideological divides. The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on a bill to repeal DADT. Easy passage is expected given the current Democratic majority there. The bill’s fate in the Senate is uncertain.
The poll results show that 77% of Americans favor repeal of DADT. Those numbers include significant majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. Even white evangelical Christians support repeal by a wide margin. The numbers approach the number who support gay and lesbian individuals serving if they do not disclose their sexual orientation. 83% support gay and lesbian service if they do not disclose, with 14% opposed. With open disclosure the numbers are 77% to 21%.
86% of Democrats favor repeal. Among Republicans, 74% favor repeal. Independents, like Republicans, favor repeal with 74% in support. 70% of evangelicals favor repeal. Among self identified liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans the majorities favoring repeal are 92% and 67% respectively.
With this level of bipartisan support, repeal of DADT should be an easy call on both sides of the aisle in Washington. But, that will not be the case. Pandering to small bases and generating wedge issues will do more to impact voting than the consensus of the vast majority of Americans. Expect a tough go in the Senate, complete with demagoguery and all manner of hyperbole from both sides…the people – and the rights of gay and lesbian citizens – be damned in the political machinations of D. C.
The WaPo article, with a link to the poll, can be found here.
Contributor, aka tidbits. Retired attorney in complex litigation, death penalty defense and constitutional law. Former Nat’l Board Chair: Alzheimer’s Association. Served on multiple political campaigns, including two for U.S. Senator Mark O. Hatfield (R-OR). Contributing author to three legal books and multiple legal publications.