President Obama’s announcement that he supports same sex marriage has not swayed more Americans to his position—and in fact may have made the two sides more entrenched in their position, according to a poll conducted by Associated Press-GfK.
But while the president’s announcement may have fired up conservatives who wouldn’t have voted for him anyway—some observers say it may have made some conservatives more likely to vote—it also served to add excitement to his support among young people under age 35. This will probably increase the turnout of that population on Nov. 6.
The AP-GfK poll found that 42 percent of respondents oppose gay marriage, 40 percent support it and 15 percent are neutral. This is compared to last August, when 45 percent opposed, 42 percent favored and 10 percent were neutral.
Despite the AP-GfK poll of the entire population, an ABC News/Washington Post survey showed that African-American support for same sex marriage grew from 39 percent before Obama’s announcement to 59 percent after the announcement.
Obama’s announcement solidified his standing as the candidate better able to handle social issues. Asked which candidate Americans trust to do a better job of handling social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, 52 percent said Obama, 36 percent Romney.
As for younger voters, 50 percent of people under age 35 said they would favor allowing same-sex couples to be legally married in their state, compared with 36 percent of those ages 35 and up—and among those under 35, his “strong” approval has doubled, from 17 percent last August to 34 percent now.