Gallup has produced the first national poll on the electoral impact of President Obama’s big, gay announcement earlier this week, and the verdict is … who cares?! A full 60 percent of the 1,1013 adults surveyed (yes, adults, not registered voters) said that Obama’s support for gay marriage would make no difference in how they voted.
For those who say it would make a difference, it’s a mixed bag for Obama: Only 11 percent of independent voters say that Obama’s endorsement makes them more likely to vote for him, compared to 23 percent who say it makes them less likely to vote for him. But while he lost some independent votes, Obama may have picked up some previously less-than-enthusiastic Democratic voters who might have stayed home on election day: 23 percent of Democrats say they are now more likely to vote for Obama, compared to 10 percent who say its less likely.
It’s worth pointing out, though, that many of those “less likelies” are lying. Take, for example, the Republican sample. Fifty-two percent of Republicans say that Obama’s gay-marriage support makes them less likely to vote for him. But, obviously, most, if not all, of those 52 percent were never actually in play to begin with. (Obama received about 9 percent of the Republican vote in 2008.) If they were being honest with themselves, they’d have told Gallup that they weren’t going to vote for the socialist Kenyan before, and they still won’t now. Claiming that they’re now “less likely” to vote for Obama is just a way of communicating their disapproval of his gay-marriage endorsement. Presumably, this same phenomenon is taking place to some degree among independent “less likelies” as well.
Of course, the reverse could also be true — some of those “more likelies” could, in reality, be locked-in Obama voters who just wanted to express their support for Obama’s reversal. So, all in all, it’s damn near impossible to know what this poll really says about the electoral implications of Obama’s so-called “evolution.” Sorry for wasting your time.