President Obama on Gay Marriage
Roughly a third of Americans view Obama more favorably and a third less favorably because of his announcement last week that he supports the right of gay and lesbian couples to wed.
Obama said his backing of gay marriage was a personal decision, but the announcement set off a fierce political debate and speculation about whether it will help him in November’s presidential election.
Thirty-one percent of Americans have a higher opinion of Obama because of his gay marriage decision and 30 percent see him less favorably. Forty percent say the announcement had no impact on their view of the president, the online poll found.
Independents – voters in the political middle who normally hold the key to victory in presidential elections – were also split, with 19 percent viewing him more favorably and 26 percent less favorably. Fifty-four percent of independents said it had no impact on their opinion.
Obama is neck-and-neck with his likely Republican opponent in the November 6 election, Mitt Romney, with economic and social issues dominating the campaign.
A New York Times/CBS News poll on Tuesday showed Romney with a 46 percent to 43 percent edge over Obama, and a USA Today survey showed former businessman Romney as the candidate rated higher on his ability to handle the economy.
The gay marriage issue has harmed his efforts to focus the campaign on Obama’s economic record but it has increased his status with conservative Republicans.