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Two More Polls Show Gay Marriage Endorsement Hurts Obama

11:48 AM, May 15, 2012 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Last Friday, Gallup released a poll showing the country almost evenly divided on Obama's gay marriage endorsement, but 26% of Americans said Obama's move made them more likely to vote against him while 13% said it made them more likely to vote for him. By a 12-point margin, independents said they were more likely to vote against Obama because of his endorsement of gay marriage.

Two new polls on Obama's endorsement of gay marriage find similar results. ABC/Washingon Post:

All told, 46 percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll express a favorable impression of Obama's statement in an interview with ABC's Robin Roberts last week that he personally has come to support gay marriage, while 47 percent respond unfavorably. That includes a 10-point tilt toward "strongly" negative rather than strongly positive views, 38 percent vs. 28 percent. [...]

Seventy percent of Democrats view Obama's declaration favorably; 76 percent of Republicans respond negatively. But swing-voting independents tell a more mixed story: On one hand, they tilt slightly more favorably than unfavorably overall, 49-43 percent. On the other, somewhat more independents respond strongly negatively, 35 percent, than strongly positively, 26 percent - and strong sentiment can better predict voter turnout and vote preferences.

CBS/New York Times:

While 25 percent say the president’s support for same-sex marriage makes them less likely to support his reelection, 16 percent say his position makes them more likely to support him. Fifty-eight percent say the announcement will not affect how they vote…

Asked if they had to decide if same-sex marriage should be legal, 51 percent said no, including 81 percent of Republicans, 25 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents. Forty-two percent said yes, including 13 percent of Republicans, 63 percent of Democrats and 43 percent of independents.

Perhaps an even more damaging number from the CBS/New York Times poll is that 67 percent of voters, including 70 percent of independents, think Obama endorsed gay marriage because of politics, while only "24 percent overall said he made the decision because he thought it was the right thing to do."

As Politico reported last week:

In the end, people close to the president say, Obama’s decision to go public with his support for marriage equality wasn’t a tough call after Biden’s remarks. The core of their argument against Mitt Romney is that he has no real convictions. Any news story portraying Obama as a political schemer is poison — especially if it appears in newspapers Obama respects, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post, according to senior Democrats.

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