President Obama’s announcement of support for same-sex marriage has changed public opinion on the issue, a new survey shows – but only in the most partisan of ways.
Democrats, and especially liberal Democrats, have become more supportive of same-sex couples marrying since the president made his famous pronouncement in May, according to poll results released Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Latinos have also shifted slightly toward acceptance of same-same marriage.
Across almost all groups, the percentage of people with no opinion has gone down, suggesting that Obama may have prompted some people to make up their minds.
Among Democrats, support for same-sex marriage rose from 59% in April to 65% in the latest poll, conducted from June 28 to July 9. Among liberal Democrats, the increase was a notable 10 percentage points, from 73% to 83%.
Otherwise, opinions have scarcely budged. Neither Republicans nor political independents have significantly changed their views.
“Pretty much however we split it … the change is really focused among Democrats, and especially liberal Democrats,” said Besheer Mohamed, a research associate at Pew.
In its report, Pew noted the increase in Democratic support against the backdrop of recent news that the Democratic Party plans to add support for same-sex marriage to its party platform at the upcoming Democratic National Convention.
The issue will help Obama politically by increasing enthusiasm among his base of liberal Democrats, the poll numbers suggest. Otherwise, it appears to have been a wash, politically.
Viewed with a longer lens, opinions about gay marriage have shifted dramatically in recent years, with overall support rising from 31% in 2004 to 48% today. That is part of
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