Gay marriage has been used as a wedge issue by Republicans in past US presidential elections, but that strategy would have little effect in the upcoming race between President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
According to a poll released Thursday (19 April) by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, gay marriage ranked last among 18 issues with economic issues tops on the minds of voters.
The Pew Center conducted its latest survey April 4-15 among 3,008 adults, including 2,373 registered voters.
'The percentage 0f GOP voters viewing gay marriage as very important has fallen 13 points, from 49 percent to 36 percent, since August 2004,' the Pew reports states. 'There has been far less change in opinions among Democrats and independents, who have consistently rated this lower in importance than have Republicans.'
The economy topped the poll with 86 of respondents saying it's the most important issue to them followed closely by jobs (84 percent). Tied for third with 74 percent were health care the the budget deficit followed by education with 72 percent.
The other issues respondents ranked above gay marriage were Medicare, energy and taxes (all 60 percent or higher), terrorism, foreign policy and the environment (all 50 percent or higher), Iran, gun control, and Afghanistan and immigration (40 percent or higher).
Ranking just above gay marriage were abortion (39 percent) and birth control (34 percent).