Will Gay Marriage Stance Help or Hurt Obama's Chances of Being Re-Elected?
President Barack Obama by The White House
Will Obama lose voters this election year after stating that he now supports same-sex marriage? According to the
, the president's decision does not come without risks: Los Angeles Times
"The move is likely to hurt him in the South. One in three Southern swing voters are strongly opposed to gay marriage, a recent Pew Research Center poll found. Just this week, North Carolina, which Obama carried narrowly in 2008, approved one of the toughest bans on same-sex unions in the country. If the switch on same-sex marriage ends up costing him states in the fall, North Carolina will be the first place to look.
"More central to his reelection will be the impact in Virginia, one of the top battlegrounds in the country, where a recent statewide survey showed him with a slight lead over Mitt Romney. "There could be some element of risk there,' said veteran pollster Andrew Kohut, who directs the Pew Research Center. "The reactions of minority voters will be closely watched. African Americans are unlikely to abandon the president, though his decision will surely give some older blacks pause. Six months of relentless assaults by the Romney forces, however, will likely boost their determination to see Obama reelected. "Some Latinos may well have second thoughts, particularly voters cross-pressured by the Catholic church's aggressive opposition to gay marriage.
"Hispanics who are less committed to Obama and are otherwise upset because they feel he broke his promise to pass immigration reform in his first year in office might have one other reason to give [Romney] a look,' said Whit Ayres, a Republican pollster. Privately, some Democratic strategists share that view."
Still, the Times notes, Obama's decision to support gay marriage is "an election-year boost to his liberal base" and has "unleashed fresh excitement among gay and lesbian donors, already one of the largest sources of campaign money for the president's reelection."
"Today has focused attention and enthusiasm in an almost cathartic way," Andrew Tobias, treasurer of the Democratic National Committee and a top gay bundler for Obama, told Joseph Tanfani of the Tribune Washington bureau, according to the Times. "Within minutes, people were calling with their credit cards. They're thrilled."
So, what do you think? Do you think the president has ruined his chances of being re-elected or do you think American voters will be too consumed with other issues (i.e. the economy, costly wars, etc.) to even care?
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Roberta Seldon is the blogger at Security and Sustainability Forum, a website that provides free online seminars and useful information related to corporate sustainability, national security and climate change. Roberta Seldon is also a volunteer (
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