It's not surprising that marriage ranked lower than it normally does at this year's CPAC straw poll. It's been banned in the constitutions of a majority of states and there aren't any ballot initiatives on it coming up, while the right has suddenly become concerned with the federal deficit, even though it was exploding during the Bush years (but that didn't matter, because it was being used for war, which means that if you question the money you hate America).
By my count, that's "Cut social programs" four ways, "Kill people who make me afraid" three ways, abortion, corruption, immigration, and "traditional values" all before marriage. Kinda what you'd expect at your normal tea party gathering, no?
It's a fun, unscientific poll to look at, the same one that predicted for several years that Mitt Romney would be the Republican nominee in 2008.
Instead, what it does say is that Republicans have had to change their message as a result of the economic downturn. It's hard to tell someone who just lost their job or their health coverage or who can't even find a job in the first place that they should care about two women getting married. It's easier to misdirect their anger towards Social Security and deficits and big government, and a lot more effective when the real goal of the conservative movement has always been to reduce taxes on the wealthy. No need for a wedge issue when you can just lie to people and they'll get mad about the wrong thing!