It has to be a little troubling that a quarter of Independents say they are less likely to vote for him now. It’s also rather strange, considering this Gallup poll from this week that found that 57 per cent of Independents think gay marriage should be legal.
Also, the endorsement does not appear, at least yet, to have had an overly energizing effect on Obama’s Democratic base, with only 24 per cent more likely to vote for him. Republicans showed a more passionate response, with 52 per cent saying they would be less likely to vote for him.
Overall, though, gay marriage does not figure to be a major issue in the election, with 60 per cent of those polled saying it would have no effect on their vote.
The poll does show, however, that 51 per cent overall do approve of his endorsement. That runs in line with the 50 per cent that said they supported it in the Gallup poll this week.
Obama’s endorsement did not come without political risk, especially in key swing states and key demographics that propelled him to win the 2008 election.
One school of thought on the issue suggests that it would be politically popular for Obama to make the move because of the national trend upward. The argument against that is that gay marriage bans have passed in 30 states on ballot referendums, including in North Carolina on Tuesday.
“It takes a tremendous amount of courage to do that following a huge loss in North Carolina,” Fred Karger, the gay Republican presidential candidate, told Business Insider on Wednesday. “And I know they’re doing a lot of internal polling looking at Ohio, Florida, New Mexico. This is a still a very controversial issue.
“But that’s what a president does. That’s why we elect a president: for bold leadership.”
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