Battling in the states
Supporters of California's same-sex marriage ban have raised $17.8 million, compared to opponents, who have raised $12.4 million, the L.A. Times reports.
Dan Morain and Jessica Garrison write that Proposition 8 could be the most expensive measure focused on a social issue, according to Robert Stern, president of the Center for Governmental Studies and an expert on initiatives.
A separate state – South Dakota – is preparing for another abortion battle when voters will be asked on the ballot to outlaw almost all abortions.
U.S. News and World Report writes that Sarah Palin's candidacy has sparked re-emergence of culture war issues like abortion.
Reporter Jay Tolson writes:
"The Palin pick was seen by many as McCain's way of reigniting the culture war - a limited culture war - while not getting too directly involved in it. In fact, says James Davison Hunter, a sociologist at the University of Virginia and the first scholar to apply the culture-war concept to the American scene, that war had never really gone away but had only moved into the background. The Palin pick, he says, returned it to the foreground, where it now shares the limelight (and headlines) with the economy and the war. But it's not, he believes, the same old battle. 'The lines of the culture war are changing,' he says. 'The gender views, for one, were so much sharper, traditional versus modern. So much has changed in the last 28 years.'"
"Although there is now more enthusiasm for the Republican ticket among religious conservatives, Pew Forum researcher Masci says that evangelicals 'are still up for grabs.'"