Chris Christie Withdraws Appeal of State's Gay Marriage Ruling, Loses Iowa Caucuses

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Oct. 21 2013 9:59 AM

Chris Christie Withdraws Appeal of State's Gay Marriage Ruling, Loses Iowa Caucuses

He was probably going to lose in Iowa anyway.

Photo by Julio Cortez-Pool/Getty Images

Last month a judge in New Jersey ruled that the state must start authorizing same-sex marriages. Gov. Chris Christie's administration appealed the ruling, asking for a delay; that delay only lasted until this weekend. As Sen.-elect Cory Booker officiated gay weddings, as Christie's doomed opponent Barbara Buono grasped for momentum from this issue, Christie caved: He has withdrawn the appeal. Map-makers and gay couples rejoice: There's now an unbroken line of legal gay marriage from the Canadian border down the East Coast and terminating in southeast Maryland. Marriage equality, from Halifax to Salisbury!

What were the politics of this, 15 days out from an election? Actually, pretty simple for Christie. The Democrats' focus on gay marriage had grown intense, as it was one of the last issues on which Christie read as a right-winger out of touch with the state. "Time and time again he stood against our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters by vetoing marriage equality," said Buono at a weekend rally with Booker. "He basically said you’re second-class citizens!"


This was an unpopular position, but not one that hurt Christie. Democrats sort of expected his tyrannosauric lead to shrink as their base came home, but the last Quinnipiac poll (one of those showing supermajority support for gay marriage) put Christie 29 points over Buono. If marriage was hurting Christie, it wasn't showing up in public polls. But anything that hurt his margin, and by extension his potential coattails for Republicans in legislative races, was more damaging to Christie's future than a cave on gay marriage. The Republican primary votes who'll meet the governor in 2015 will already assume he's more moderate than they are.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics



Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?


Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
Dear Prudence
Oct. 21 2014 9:18 AM Oh, Boy Prudie counsels a letter writer whose sister dresses her 4-year-old son in pink tutus.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
Oct. 21 2014 8:38 AM An Implanted Wearable Gadget Isn’t as Crazy as You’d Think Products like New Deal Design’s UnderSkin may be the future.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.