New Poll: Marriage Equality Stances Would Not Affect Votes in Presidential Election
May 22, 2012 by Charlie Joughin
A new NBC News/WSJ poll released today is showing that voters are relatively unaffected by President Barack Obama’s support for marriage equality, and that there is growing support for marriage equality in key constituencies – including among Republicans. According to the poll, 62 percent of voters said the positions of President Obama and Governor Mitt Romney on marriage equality would not affect their vote. The poll also found that nearly 50 percent of Republicans under the age of 35 support marriage equality in their home states; while 68 percent of all those polled under the age of 35 support marriage for gay and lesbian couples.
This new data reinforces previous polling that shows as marriage equality enjoys increasing majority support, it is less of a wedge issue – with voters more concerned about the economy, jobs, and the budget deficit.
These numbers illustrate what we already know: in increasing numbers, Americans support marriage equality and an array of rights and protections for LGBT people. Growing numbers of Americans know and love their openly LGBT family members, neighbors, and coworkers. As a result, many see marriage equality as simply common-sense. People are rightfully focused on the economy and jobs - trying to play politics with the rights of an entire segment of the American population isn’t going to fly in this election.
When asked if they would be more likely to vote for either President Obama or Governor Romney based on their marriage equality positions, 75 percent of independents said the issue would not impact their vote. Sixty-seven percent of voters in toss-up states and 62 percent of working class white voters also agreed: the President’s support for marriage equality and Romney’s opposition would not be a factor in their vote. A recent Gallup poll found 57 percent of independent voters support marriage equality.
Today’s poll also found that key constituencies supporting President Obama are, by and large, not changing their support based on the President’s marriage equality stance. According to the poll, 77 percent of African Americans who support President Obama say his pro-marriage stance doesn’t change their vote; with 64 percent of supporters in toss-up states and 67 percent of supporters in GOP-leaning states agreeing.
For more information on HRC's work for marriage equality, click here.
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