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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Gallup: Obama's Support For Same-Sex Marriage More Of A Net Minus Than Net Gain

By Susan Duclos

Gallup polled Democrats, Republicans and Independents on whether Barack Obama's recent support for same-sex marriages would make them more likely to support Obama in the upcoming presidential election, less likely or if it made no difference to their vote.

National adults show a majority, 60 percent, say it makes no difference. 26 percent say it makes them less likely to support Obama and 13 percent say it makes them more likely to vote for him.

Those numbers include the Republican tallies, which in reality, skews the totals because not many Republicans plan to vote for Obama anyway, which Gallup also notes.

Gallup address that issue:

Partisans' responses to the question may therefore indicate more of a change in the intensity of their vote choice as opposed to an actual change in the candidate they support.

Thus, a key to assessing how the change in Obama's view of same-sex marriage will affect his vote share this fall would be to look at its effect on independents, and on Democrats and Republicans whose views are different from the majority of their party.

Specifically, 23% of independents and 10% of Democrats say it makes them less likely to vote for Obama, while a smaller 11% of independents and 2% of Republicans say it makes them more likely to vote for Obama. Those figures 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. However, those figures also underscore that it is a relatively limited group of voters -- about one in three independents and fewer than one in 10 Republicans or Democrats -- whose votes may change as a result of Obama's new stance on gay marriage.

In attempting to manipulate top donors that previously stated they were withholding their money from the Obama campaign over his "refusal to sign an executive order barring same sex discrimination by federal contractors," he accomplished that goal with his recent reversal of positions on gay marriage, as they forgave him and opened their wallets again, but he suffered a net loss of support because of that manipulation.

More importantly, feeling it is safe to assume the majority of Republicans won't vote for Obama and the majority of Democrats will, Independents become key in November and because of his timing, twice as many Independents are less likely to vote for him than are more likely.

 ABC News provides a timeline of Obama's changing views on same-sex marriage throughout the years.

Obama took a calculated risk with his coming out, so to speak, during his reelection year and while the election is six months away, if he continues to use it in his campaign fundraisers or public speeches, then it is an issue that will follow him right up until election day.