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Poll: Majority of Americans approve of Obama’s support for marriage equality

Six in 10 Say Obama's view will not sway their vote
Friday, May 11, 2012
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More than half of Americans say they approve of President Barack Obama’s recently announced support for full marriage equality for gay and lesbians, according to a new USA TODAY/Gallup poll.

But the poll also indicated that 60 percent of Americans responded that Obama’s support of same-sex marriage will have no impact on how they vote this November.

Overall, 51 percent approve of Obama’s new position on same-sex marriage, compared with 45 percent who disapprove. Nearly 13 percent say his shift in position will make them more likely to vote for him, while 26% say it will make them less likely, suggesting that more supporters of likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney feel more strongly about this issue than do base supporters of Obama.

Since Obama announced on Wednesday his shift on the issue in an interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts, his campaign has highlighted his position on gay rights while charging that Romney would further restrict rights for same-sex couples.

Though Obama endorsed gay marriage, he told Roberts that the issue should be a matter for each state to decide on individually.

Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones said the poll results “suggest Obama’s gay marriage position is likely to cost him more independent and Democratic votes than he would gain in independent and Republican votes, clearly indicating that his new position is more of a net minus than a net plus for him.”

But Jones also cautioned that “it is important to note that the poll’s results give a sense of Americans’ immediate reactions to Obama’s position.”

“It is possible that the impact of Obama’s same-sex marriage position will ultimately be greater or lesser, depending on the attention paid to the same-sex marriage issue during the duration of the presidential campaign,” Jones wrote in his analysis.

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