- (Photo: Reuters/Larry Downing)
A new poll shows that President Barack Obama's decision to support gay marriage might make many independents and even some Democrats less likely to vote for him in November.
According to a new USA Today/Gallup poll released Saturday, 26 percent say Obama's support of gay marriage will make them less likely to vote for him as compared to just 13 percent who say it will make them more likely.
About 60 percent of Americans say Obama's May 9th announcement will make no difference to who they will vote for.
The poll also found there was a negligible difference between the number of Americans who support gay marriage in general, which is about 50 percent, and those who approve of Obama's position on the issue, 51 percent.
Gallup noted that since there is a strong relationship between party identification and vote choice, 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.
Keeping that in mind, Obama's position is likely to cost him more independent and Democratic votes than he would gain in this category. This indicates that his new position is more of a net minus than a net plus for him, according to the poll. Twenty three percent of independents and 10 percent of Democrats say Obama's support for gay marriage makes them less likely to vote for him, while a smaller 11 percent of independents and 2 percent of Republicans say it makes them more likely to vote for Obama, who is the first president to publicly support gay marriage while in office.
However, the poll's writer noted that those figures suggest that it is a relatively limited group of voters whose votes may change as a result of Obama's new stance.
The results were based on telephone interviews conducted May 10 on the Gallup Daily tracking survey, with a random sample of 1,013 adults living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
Obama's support of gay marriage came a day after voters in North Carolina approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unions by a large margin on Tuesday.
While Obama has come out with his new stance on same-sex marriage, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney has made it clear that he opposes it. Romney told Fox News Thursday, "I believe that marriage has been defined the same way for literally thousands of years by virtually every civilization in history and that marriage is by its definition a relationship between a man and woman." But he also said that gay couples should have the right to adopt children and start families.
A Rasmussen Reports tracking poll shows that Romney now leads the president by an eight-point margin.