The short of it is because Republicans have ZERO chance of taking back the Senate anytime soon. I’ve felt since the ruling that it probably would never get overturned. I got curious today and decided to investigate further. So I started to think like a social conservative (it was scary) and tried to find any feasible way for this to pass the Lege in the near future.
It will not pass in the 2010 session according to both the House and Senate leadership. So the Repubs best hope is for a successful election in 2010 to make it possible. It is in the realm of possibility that Repubs take back the House. I really don’t think they will, but there are a lot of competitive races that could flip in a good year for them. I could even see an amendment passing that chamber in the next couple sessions with “six-pack” help. Incidentally, there are quite a few Republican-held seats that could flip for us in a good year as well. I think redistricting will help us in 2012 too, but that is for another post.
The Senate is a different story. There are precisely 4 competitive Democrat-held Senate districts that are up for re-election in 2010. Those are, with 2006 results:
STATE SENATOR DISTRICT 5
Rich Olive Democrat 11224
STATE SENATOR DISTRICT 9
Bill Heckroth Democrat 11902
STATE SENATOR DISTRICT 37
Staci Appel Democrat 12827
Julian Garrett Republican 12055
STATE SENATOR DISTRICT 45
Becky Schmitz Democrat 10362
David Miller Republican 10178
Source: Iowa SOS Website
Even if Republicans pull off all four of these races they will still be down 28-22. I tend to think that Olive and Schmitz are safe. Schmitz especially after the Hanson victory, which is half her district. I don’t know much about Heckroth. I currently reside in Appel’s district and that is going to be a dog fight I’d wager. I’m going to do everything I can to help her (and you should too).
That means that in all likelihood (and I trust Gronstal won’t budge, he tends not too) That a constitutional amendment cannot possibly pass the Senate until AFTER the 2012 election. We’ll have a guy named Obama at the top of the ticket that year and will hopefully improve down ballot organizing from ’08. I like our chances.
My prediction is that it never even gets put to a vote. Based on the above, the EARLIEST it could come up would be 2016. I’m confident it would be soundly defeated by then if that were the case. The polls already show it about even.
My other prediction is that Republicans will go all out on this issue and thus alienate a whole generation of Iowans who are turned off by their bigoted agenda. I think this has already happened to an extent with Bush and company, but it will be a real problem for them in the future.