COMMENTARY | Reuters reports that on May 15, a new Reuters and Ispos poll was released, which showed Americans are indifferent to President Barack Obama’s support of gay marriage. The poll showed that 30 percent of Americans view Obama more negatively after he publicly announced support of same-sex marriage, while 31 percent of Americans view him more positively. As a Republican voter, here is how I feel this new poll is going to influence the general election.
This new poll is really telling, since it seems to indicate that a majority of Americans do not care one way or the other about what Obama thinks regarding gay marriage. Considering so many states have banned gay marriage and Obama claimed it was a state issue only, same-sex marriage might not be an issue in the general election. I think there would be more of a divide in this country if Obama would have said he wanted to enact gay marriage laws on a federal level, since that would obviously give states no authority in the matter. Obama was likely looking to appeal to the gay and lesbian community by offering his support of gay marriage, and so far it does not appear to be working. Forty percent of all voters said Obama’s decision on gay marriage had no impact on what they thought of Obama, which could be a sign of people wanting to shift the talk toward the economy.
One aspect of this poll that was not surprising was that 53 percent of Democrats viewed Obama more positively, while 56 percent of Republicans viewed him more negatively after his public support of gay marriage. There has always been a gap between Democrats and Republicans on social issues such as gay marriage, and most conservatives still dislike the notion of allowing gay marriage to become legal. Republicans could take advantage of this situation however, if Mitt Romney can get more voters out in droves using the issue of gay marriage as a way Obama wants to transform America. It was almost wrong of Obama to look as supporting gay marriage as a way to get political points with voters, because there is too much risk of it all backfiring, which might already be happening in some crucial swing states.
More than anything, this poll shows that Americans just want to focus on the economy, because at the end of the day, money talks. I believe job creation, reducing the national debt, lowering gas prices, and lowering food prices are all more important issues for Americans in the upcoming general election. It seems that Obama was trying to get the Republicans and the media to talk about these types of social issues to take the heat off of his economic record, which he cannot run on at all. Unemployment is still too high and jobs are scarce, and when it comes to the business side of running the government, Romney will have the upper hand in the general election.