Poll: Voters say ‘it’s the economy’ stupid, not gay marriage, family values


Staff Reports

Several GOP presidential hopefuls are making appearances this weekend at the Values Voter Summit in Washington — an event that traditionally focuses on faith and social issues — but a new Washington Post/ABC News poll reflects that “family values” and gay marriage are not as important to voters as it is to the candidates.

Asked in an open-ended format about the top issue in their nomination vote, over half (51 percent) of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents cite the economy. Far below, 13 percent say the budget deficit or spending, 7 percent say ethics and corruption, and 4 percent each name taxes and health care.

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A scant 3 percent offer “morals” or “family values” as a top concern. Even among Republicans who first chose the economy as a top issue, 1 percent say moral issues ranked second.

On the issue of marriage equality, 42 percent of all respondents said they would be “less likely” to support a presidential candidate who supports banning same-​sex marriage.

Only 25 percent were “more likely” to support such a candidate.

One-​third of respondents indicated that gay marriage had no effect on their decision of who they would vote for.

The poll was conducted by telephone September 29-October 2 2011, among a random national sample of 1,002 adults.

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