Poll: Majority approves of Obama's marriage decision
May 11th, 2012
06:01 PM ET
3 years ago

Poll: Majority approves of Obama's marriage decision

(CNN) – When President Barack Obama made his first public endorsement of same-sex marriage Wednesday, the political implications were murky – while it clearly helped the president with his liberal base, it was unclear whether moderate supporters and African-Americans would respond positively.

On Friday, the first poll taken after his ABC News interview showed 51% of Americans approved of the decision, compared to 45% who disapproved. The results from the Gallup survey, which was taken May 10, closely mirror recent polling of Americans on the issue of marriage equality.

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In a Gallup survey taken May 3-6, 50% of respondents said marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized as legal, compared to 48% who said they should not.

Friday's results fell mostly along party lines – Democrats overwhelming approved of the announcement, while Republicans largely disapproved. Independents were split: 53% approved of Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage, compared to 44% of independents who disapproved.

The poll also questioned Americans on whether they were more or less likely to vote for Obama based on the decision, though respondents were not asked whether they were previously leaning toward the president or his Republican rival Mitt Romney.

Forty percent of Americans said the decision will sway their vote in November. The survey indicated 26% of Americans were less likely to vote for the president because of the decision, and 13% were more likely to cast votes for Obama following his announcement.

Among Americans who identified themselves as independents, 23% said they were less likely to vote for Obama after he supported same-sex marriage, and 11% said they were more likely to cast ballots for the incumbent Democrat in November.

Sixty percent of Americans polled were unchanged in their support of the president after he publicly backed same-sex marriage.

Gallup was quick to mention in releasing their poll that the results reflected very immediate reaction to Obama's decision, and that Americans' viewpoints could change as time passes, depending on the attention same-sex marriage garners on the campaign trail.

The poll was taken by telephone from 1,013 adults on May 10. The sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. soren

    "The survey indicated 26% of Americans were less likely to vote for the president because of the decision, and 13% were more likely to cast votes for Obama following his announcement."

    Lead buried.

    May 11, 2012 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  2. Obama 2012 - BEND Forward America, take another 4 long years of FAILURE

    A nation-wide poll taken on this issue is totally irrelevant. A state by state poll is what would be very meaningful. I really doubt that 51% of the states favor especially since there are 31 with laws AGAINST it.

    But you just gotta love the LSM trying to portray this as very main stream when it is anything but that.

    May 11, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. Larry L

    Americans believe in fairness.

    May 11, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA. Bend over and take THAT, bigots.

    May 11, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  5. Bren

    Based on all of the articles that were released about this issue and the swing states.....We will see in the polls in about 3 weeks. Based on polls released yesterday-Obama and Romney were tied in Florida and Ohio. We will see what the polls in Florida and Ohio show in about 3 weeks. Also, at this point-it is obvious that Obama is going to lose West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and Missouri (as well as MANY other states).

    May 11, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  6. B.

    It is all about Civil Rights and its time has come. We need to stop lying to the World about this being a Free Country until all of these freedoms are in place for All Americans.

    Evolution takes a very long time waiting for the Mythologies to wane and intelligent fact based morality to replace it.

    May 11, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. ARMYCSM

    Gay Republicans you are as welcome in the GOP as a black man in the KKK. Quit fooling yourselves. You too Latinos, Mexicans, Trailer park rednecks, mormons, Jews and of course Blacks. Your vote is the only thing you can give to the GOP.
    Got that, think about it, listen to the base rhetoric. They don't want your kind around, so stop thinking you are a part of that little tent. You are not.

    May 11, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  8. dave

    Not thst Gallup polls are not fair and try to be unbias (thus accurate), but I wonder where they sampled their people. If I take a "random" poll/survey of this issue in San Fransico, (up-town area) of Dallas, NY City, etc. I will get a completely different result than south Texas (althoughh a heavy democrat area), or Salt Lake City, Omaha NE, Upstate NY, etc., even thbough both polls are truly "random".

    May 11, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  9. Darryl

    President Obamas got this one right and now is the time for all Americans Rights to be equil and respected.The president is the first president who has stood up for all and will not back down.That is what this country has needed for a VERY,VERY long time.He will be re-elected and will be a huge part of history for it.It is a blessing and a Historical time for equality and unity for this great country we share. He has NO fear and the people do see that.The time is to move forward and not backward.This is 1 President that will always be called on even after his Presidency to help keep that balance stable and steady here and around the world.He is very important in his vision and the world is watching him and us to see how this plays out. I talk to people all over the country and world and all I get back are positive responses and admiration for his will and leadership.Especially on Civil & Human rights,Terriorism,and his direction.Thats what I hear.So that being said, There's NO doubt he will be The POTUS for another term and succeed all the hard work he has done for the better of us all.

    May 11, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. mhc4bucks

    I guess it is not the same people who have voted against it in 32 out of 32 state elections. Keep dreaming. Keep putting liberalism out in the open. Keep believing your own BS. It is the economy stupid.

    May 11, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  11. Jorge UU Boosh

    I've livedin MA for 17 years now and since 2004 when gay marriage was legalized here , it has made absolutely NO DIFFERENCE to anyone except the several thousand, now-married couples.

    LIVE and LET LIVE.

    May 11, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. Reality

    Of course they do. His policies are often based on polls that his campaign takes. He 'evolves' when things get rough. This is just another example. Note: "evolves" is just another word for "flip flop".

    May 11, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  13. Christopher

    The country has moved on. Most people are either for it or don't really care. Conservatives should get over themselves and find something else to get all upset about. I'm sure they can find something!

    May 11, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  14. Dave

    Obama's opinions change as much as the wind blows. Whatever gets votes is what he is for and believes in. Worst president in USA history!

    May 11, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  15. Lori

    Good job, Mr. President. You stood for what you believed in and stuck it to the conservatives... You just need to do more of this over the next 4 years!!!! You have my vote again!

    May 11, 2012 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  16. hamsta

    then why do 38 states strongly oppose gay marriage?

    May 11, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  17. gt

    it might paly well in san fran,,,, and new york....and a few left wing cities ...not middle america....

    May 11, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  18. dennis

    if you were for the president befor he made his statement then stay with him

    May 11, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  19. acajunthatsagun

    While over 50% it shows that this is still a divisive issue.

    May 11, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  20. Hammerer

    So much for polls. The media is trying to sell gay marriage as favored by by the majority but the issue has fail to pass the vote test in 31 states.

    May 11, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  21. jordan

    51% approve in this poll, yet the majority in 32 states, including California (twice), voted against gay marriage. I'll believe actual voting records over online and phone polls.

    May 11, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |