Poll: Obama Gay Marriage Announcement Has Little Impact

In a preview of the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that will be released today, Mark Murray notes that President Obama’s announced change of position on same-sex marriage has had little impact with voters:

Two weeks after President Obama announced he supports gay marriage, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that his announcement — politically — looks to be a wash.

In the poll, a combined 17 percent say it makes them “much more likely” or “somewhat more likely” they will vote for him. That’s compared with a combined 20 percent who say the announcement will make them more likely to vote for Mitt Romney, who opposes gay marriage.

Perhaps more importantly, 62 percent say the president’s support for gay marriage doesn’t make a difference in their vote — including 75 percent of independents, 76 percent of moderates, 81 percent of African Americans, and 65 percent of residents in the Midwest.

“From my distance, it looks more like a voting draw than anything else,” says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

In addition, the NBC/WSJ poll finds that a majority — 54 percent — would support a law in their state making same-sex marriage legal. Twenty four percent would actively support such a law, while 30 percent would favor it but not actively support it.

By comparison, a combined 40 percent say they would oppose such a law.

This is about what I expected would happen.  For all the sturm und drung about same-sex marriage in general, and Obama’s announcement in particular, the fact of the matter is that this is fairly low down on voter priority lists, and that Obama’s position is in line with what is becoming the growing consensus among a majority of Americans. Perhaps this will hurt him in places like North Carolina, but in all honesty Obama only won that state by just over 14,000 votes in 2008 and it’s been trending back into the GOP fold ever since so it wasn’t exactly in his pocket to begin with.  For the most part, though, this issue is going to be a wash for the President, and it’s certainly not going to have much of an impact to begin with.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, Public Opinion Polls, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Hey Norm says:

    Unless of course you are Gay…and then it had a huge impact based on what I have heard and read.
    FYI…Sometimes governing is about more than just getting re-elected.
    I’m just sayin’

  2. anjin-san says:

    Unless of course you are Gay…and then it had a huge impact based on what I have heard and read.

    Bingo. Got to say Doug, your tendency to dismiss issues such as this and women’s reproductive rights is kind of troubling.

  3. @Hey Norm:

    Unless of course you are Gay…and then it had a huge impact based on what I have heard and read.

    I’m bi and it had not impact on me, since I didn’t think it will result in any actually policy changes, and the announcement, much like the previous denial, was just cynical pandering to the prevailing public opinion.

  4. al-Ameda says:

    As I suspected, people have already made up their minds 2 things:

    (1) on the on the choice between Obama and Romney
    (2) on whether they support or do not support Gay Marriage

    Again, there are very few independent and undecided people out there, people have made up their minds.