Here is a paragraph from a link Jamie Soden sent me. I have some thoughts on this. I would say that the way any politician or political party gets people to vote the way they want is just as this describes. By focusing on an issue that people are very emotionally or morally concerned about, the people want to vote for those who they feel are providing protection from the threat. I would say that most people are probably single issue voters because there is always one issue that is at the top of their priority list. And it’s true that for many, it probably is the gay marriage issue. For others it’s probably climate change, abortion, or animal rights. Even though I never vote on anything, I sometimes think about what motivates people to vote as they do.
“Many commentators on the left have embraced some version of the duping hypothesis: the Republican party dupes people into voting against their economic interests by triggering outrage on cultural issues. “Vote for us and we’ll protect the American flag!” say the Republicans. “We’ll make English the official language of the United States! And most importantly, we’ll prevent gay people from threatening your marriage when they … marry! Along the way we’ll cut taxes on the rich, cut benefits for the poor, and allow industries to dump their waste into your drinking water, but never mind that. Only we can protect you from gay, Spanish-speaking flag-burners!””