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article imageObama's gay marriage speech nets a loss for campaign

By Larry Clifton     May 12, 2012 in Politics
Obama's recent election-season evolution that includes endorsing gay marriage swayed more voters to cast ballots against him than for him, according to a new Gallup poll.
While the country remains split on the gay marriage issue, 13% of Americans say Obama's gay marriage speech will make them more likely to vote for him, while twice as many, 26%, say the event makes them more likely to vote against him in November.
Many campaign analysts say Obama's gay marriage evolution is a well rehearsed campaign event and not an evolution of his beliefs. Obama was against gay marriage up until this week.
Obama's timely gay marriage endorsement was staged just after Vice President Joe Biden came out for gay marriage and a day before Obama picked up $15 million in campaign cash from George Clooney and other Hollywood stars. The President's speech simply did not curry favor with most voters, according to the national poll. One consensus among analysts is that the gay marriage ploy amounts to pandering for dollars.
The Gallup poll showed that 60% of Americans are not swayed one way or another by the news.
Obama's gay marriage speech, part of what many call his "slow jam" campaign, did not attract support from Independents either, according to the poll. The results among independents fall in line with the overall results.
Obama, the first sitting president to argue same-sex couples should be granted the same marital rights as a man and a woman, made his position clear on Wednesday to ABC News.
In contrast, presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has said he believes "marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman" and that he will continue to hold that view. Romney believes Americans are more concerned about the economy and the direction Obama has taken the country and argues Obama is merely trying to distract voters.
"Those figures suggest Obama's gay marriage position is likely to cost him more independent and Democratic votes than he would gain in independent and Republican votes, clearly indicating that his new position is more of a net minus than a net plus for him," noted Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones.
In a speech to the nation, Obama declared his "evolution" on gay marriage to a nationwide audience on ABC television one night before attending the Clooney campaign event where he was gifted the $15 million by Hollywood stars and related entities.
The Gallup Survey was conducted among 1,013 adults on May 10 and has a sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.
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