A new poll of Independent voters in Michigan shows that four in 10 are less likely to vote for President Obama since he announced his support for same-sex marriage last month.
"The fact that only 17 percent of polled independent voters were supportive of the president's stance on gay marriage – and that 41 percent indicated they were less likely to vote for him as a result – may be some cause for concern with this crucial group," said Jeff Lambert of Lambert, Edwards & Associates in a written statement.
The survey asked voters whether they would be more or less likely to vote for President Obama since he recently expressed that gay couples should be allowed to marry. Only 26 percent said they were more likely to support the president, while 40 percent said they would be less likely and 34 percent were unsure.
The poll could cause the Obama campaign some concern as Michigan is viewed as a must-win state for the president. One reason is that Mitt Romney, the presumed GOP nominee, spent his childhood in Michigan at the feet of his father who served as the state's governor during the 1960s.
The issue most likely had an impact on Romney's razor thin, one-point lead of Michigan voters conducted during the first week in June by EPIC-MRA. This is a slight change from a similar poll conducted in April showing Obama with a four-point lead among the state's voters.
But while Michigan's Independents may still be cool to Obama's stance on same-sex marriage, the latest Washington Post survey taken in late May shows that 53 percent of registered voters say gays and lesbians should be able to marry.
Still, 61 percent of the GOP faithful say same-sex marriage should be illegal, compared to 36 percent of Independents and 25 percent of Democrats.
The poll also showed that voters were evenly split at 50 each over whether states or the federal government should control laws pertaining to marriage.
However, the more revealing statistic was that among Republicans age 18 to 44, opposition to gay marriage is declining with those supporting and opposing gay marriage at 46 percent each.
Nonetheless, political analysts on both sides of the aisle seem unsure exactly how the issue of same-sex marriage will play in November, but tend to agree that the economy will be the bigger issue.
"President Obama needs to focus his electoral efforts on other issues – like job creation – if he wants to gain the independent vote in Michigan," said Lambert.
The Michigan poll of registered voters was conducted jointly by LE&A and Denno Research from June 14-15 and has a margin of error of +/- four percent.