Will Obama’s new marriage position cost him votes?

New poll says Obama's marriage position could be a problem come November

Will Obama’s new marriage position cost him votes?
12 May 2012

Now that President Barack Obama has taken a stand on gay marriage, the question of the week has been how will the new position impact the upcoming election?

A recent Gallup poll noted 6 out of 10 American voters will not be swayed by the president’s embrace of same-sex marriage. Yet, the survey also showed 26 percent of citizens are less likely to vote for him now, as opposed to 13 percent who look more favorably on the president for his ‘evolution.’

However, as reported by the Washington Post, ‘most of those who say they are now less likely to vote for Obama are Republicans (more than half of GOPers say this). But 10 percent of Democrats and 23 percent of independents say the same thing, which suggests the president could be turning off at least some key voters.’

What isn’t clear is if those Democrats and independents were ever going to vote for the president come November, or will pull the lever for him despite their doubts about the marriage debate.

In a tight race those voters could mean victory or defeat, but it’s too early, and murky, to make any November predictions.  What’s certain, as shown by the Gallup numbers, is that marriage equality is not yet a top-tier issue for voters.

Despite this, the issue does have partisan overtones. According to numbers from the Pew Research Center, ‘majorities of Democrats (59 percent) and independents (52 percent) favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally.’ However, Republicans still oppose gay marriage by a wide margin — 68 percent for compared to 23 against.

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