Friday, November 03, 2006
NEW YORK — A Republican-sponsored effort to clamp down on Internet gambling may turn out to be a bad bet for the GOP.
The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which President Bush signed into law Oct. 13, has infuriated many voters who enjoy betting on sports or playing poker online, analysts said.
Other observers, however, see little threat to Republicans from the law, calling it a relatively minor matter to most voters.
“I don’t believe a large volume of voters are motivated to go to the polls because of Internet gaming, either way,” said Brian Darling of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank.
But with Republicans already on the defensive over the Iraq war, budget deficits and the congressional page scandal, the gambling law is the latest issue that could steer voters away from the GOP.
“I’ve been a loyal Republican for over 30 years, and I’m quitting the party I once loved,” said Jim Henry, 55, who lives outside San Francisco. “Not because of the Mark Foley scandal or Middle East policy. But because the Republican Party wants to stop me from what I love to do: play poker over the Internet.”
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