The Republicans did not make a big deal of moral or “cultural” issues during the last election. Little was said about abortion. Conservatives were well-behaved when it came to gay marriage. Unlike previous elections, Republicans–including social conservatives who care a great deal about these issues–pretty much left them alone.
But the Democrats, in contrast, did run on moral and cultural issues. They attacked conservatives for opposing abortion and gay marriage. They went further, scaring the general public that the Republicans would outlaw birth control and enslave women.
And the Democrats won on these issues. Their take on moral and social issues was, in fact, very important. Single women voted overwhelmingly for Obama, largely, according to the exit polls, because of “women’s issues.” Clumsy and unsophisticated treatment of the “rape exception” for abortion on the part of two pro-life candidates cost arguably cost Republicans the Senate.
So we have reached the point at which conservative moral issues are political losers and liberal moral issues–gay marriage, abortion on demand–are political winners.
So what now for social conservatives?