The New Jersey ruling opening the door to gay marriage in the state is a last minute boon to Republicans. While Democrats will say that Republicans are using the politics of division (as they supposedly did in 2004) to get votes in November, the reality is that the Republicans never put gay marriage on the agenda – it was the Democrats. And here again, they shoot themselves in the foot.
Nothing gets the evangelical groups up in arms like gay marriage. I'm against it, but I am not all that fired up on the issue. However, that group who was tuning out just got a wake up call. A Democratic House and a Democratic Senate means no defense against judicial activists, (I doubt any federalists or strict constructionists will make it past a Democratic Senate) and certainly no laws stopping this behavior will be pondered on a House agenda driven by San Francisco liberal Nancy Pelosi.
The result is that, before this ruling, the stakes could be rationalized as low by some voters and that the idea got put to death. Now the stakes are high to the evangelical vote (and others who don't want to see gay marriage rammed down the throat of the American public without so much as a simple consultation,) and there is a tangible issue that they don't want to lose that's now on the line.
The Foley story is old news and few people but the party faithful read all the hit piece books that come out in October. People see this ruling, and they're paying attention. It just gave the Republican faithful another big reason to come out and vote in two weeks.