Poll: Portman loses some support over same-sex marriage
April 19th, 2013
12:04 PM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Portman loses some support over same-sex marriage

(CNN) - The approval rating for the first Republican senator to back same-sex marriage has edged down, fueled mostly by a drop in support from members of his own party, according to a new survey.

An adviser to Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, responding to the poll, says the senator's change of heart on the controversial social issue had nothing to do with politics.

A Quinnipiac University survey released Friday indicates that Portman's approval rating stands at 40% among Ohio voters, down four points from a February 28 poll. The four percentage point dip is within the survey's sampling error. The senator's disapproval rating went from 24% in February to 31% now.

A six point drop in approval by self-described Republicans appears to be the main factor in the overall edging down of Portman's approval. Sixty-three percent of Republicans questioned in the February poll said the approved of the job Portman was doing as senator. That's dropped to 57% now. And just over four in ten Republicans say they think less favorably of Portman because of his switch on same-sex marriage.

In March, Portman became the first Republican in the U.S. Senate to endorse same-sex marriage. He announced that he was swayed on the issue by his son, who told his family he was gay.

"Rob's change of heart was driven by a family issue, and clearly had nothing to do with politics or poll numbers. He remains focused on the top issues in the minds of Ohioans – our economy, and Washington's out of control spending and debt," said a Portman adviser.

Portman's change of stance came just before the U.S. Supreme Court heard two high profile cases involving same-sex marriage. The high court is expected to issue rulings in June.

Portman, a former congressman who served as U.S. trade representative and director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush, was first elected to the Senate in 2010 and is not up for re-election until 2016.

"Sen. Rob Portman's reversal on same-sex marriage has cost him a little support in his Republican base, but has little impact among Democrats and independent voters," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

According to the poll, 48% of Ohio voters support legal same-sex marriage, with 44% opposed.

The survey also indicates President Barack Obama's approval rating in Ohio now stands at 45%, down from 48% in March and 54% in December.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted April 10-15, with 1,138 registered Buckeye State voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: Rob Portman
soundoff (18 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    Portman is truthful in his position. Those other GOP senators, democrats as well, are playing politics with the issue. I swear this Congress is full of cowards not willing to stand up for what they believe in or stand up for what they know is right.

    April 19, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. nothng new here

    Well, this man's rating have gone up with me. Portman represents, to me at least, what a REAL Republican should be about – limited government, esp. when it comes to adults private lives.
    The government should not be regulating relationships between 2 consenting adults. My taxes should not be used to legislate this kind of morality, especially when we have bigger issues to deal with, like terrrorism.

    April 19, 2013 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. Chipster

    Was is it about the Republican Party and their supporters that they do not understand about equal protection, equal rights? The U.S. government is NOT a theocracy. The Bible Thumpers who think they want to rule the nation by their holy book had better read it a little closer. Many of them will be stoned to death under such a theocracy. If you believe something is a sin, then you are free to refrain from it! That means lust, pride, gluttony, adultery, and a host of other "sins" that the Thumpers are currently free to commit in the land of the free. It would be wise to remember: "Judge NOT!" Please try to exercise that one more often.

    April 19, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. oi vay

    Well people of Ohio, looks like you voted to put the failure back in the Whitehouse for another 4 years and now you regret it. Thanks for screwing the rest of the country over.

    April 19, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. wwf

    Figures. The GOP is know for eating their own.

    April 19, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  6. just askin

    i don't understand... you mean now that this republican supports the democrat gay agenda the democrats are not flocking to support him??? what a naive fool he is.

    April 19, 2013 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Bob

    oi vay

    Well people of Ohio, looks like you voted to put the failure back in the Whitehouse for another 4 years and now you regret it. Thanks for screwing the rest of the country over.


    Bush is gone and Ken Blackwell can't steal any more elections.

    April 19, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  8. Homer Simpson

    He exercised freedom of opinion, that will get you nowhere fast in the gop, no independant thoughts allowed, blindly follow, or face defunding

    April 19, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  9. Larry in Houston

    @ oi vay – sorry to be a bearer of bad tidings, but after travelling 22 states, meeting with & talking with a diverse and a heck of a lot of people over the last 20 yrs, Ohio has the smartest & brightest people in this country. and I may add, Some of the best educated people in the U.S.

    April 19, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. Pete

    Portman against all gay rights,marriages 2 years ago trying out for Romneys VP but nows for it supposidly because of his son coming out of the closet 2 years ago as well.Just postering to get votes for the upcoming midterms which most republicans know will be their political downfall because of just these issues and now faced with political extermination they flip flopped to try to appease some that turned against them just for these heated political issues..Portmans stance hasn't changed and he'll be exposed as the hypocrite he really is as most republicans are!!

    April 19, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Homer Simpson

    Blindly flollow, or else, what a place you have there sayin, yikes!, your extremist postings onlt serve to bolster the oppossitions viewpoint, meaning, you sound freggin crazy bro! which side is paying you anyway?

    April 19, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  12. The Real Tom Paine

    -just askin

    i don't understand... you mean now that this republican supports the democrat gay agenda the democrats are not flocking to support him??? what a naive fool he is.
    He did it for the right reasons, not politics, which explains why you don't understand. The Democrats are not one-issue voters, like the GOP is.

    April 19, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  13. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    This was a problem for him until it affected his family directly. Now the tiger has changed his stripes. That being said, it least he NOW seems honest about it. Was Chaney different?

    April 19, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  14. Al-NY,NY

    "I pledge my life to the theocracy of Rush Limbaugh. Whatever he says is the absolute truth. All others are heretics and nonbelievers and need to be clensed".......the GOP platform

    April 19, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  15. DENNA

    Mr. Portman is on the right side of this subject. A decent country cannot relegate a large portion of its citizens to miserable lives. If you don't like gay marriage, then don't marry a gay person. Other than that, it is none of your business.

    April 19, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  16. Homer Simpson

    We need more people like sanford to lead our country, a proven winner. a ppathetic group of men if ever there was

    April 19, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. Phil from Licking County

    After he stepped up and supported marriage equality, I had a better view of Senator Portman. Then he blindly walked lock-step with the GOP and voted to filibuster gun background checks. My impression of him shifted back. I guess the only way for Portman to vote to reduce gun violence is for someone close to him to become a victim of gun violence.

    April 19, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  18. Randy, San Francisco

    Republican rebranding efforts have a long road to travel. Social, cultural, and religious values do not change overnight. It may take a few more election cycle losses before the party realizes the bitter reality.

    April 19, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |