Mitt Romney has overtaken President Barack Obama in the first opinion poll to be conducted since the president came out in favor of gay marriage.
But respondents in the CBS News/New York Times poll insist it is the economy that has made them swing toward the Republican candidate, rather than Obama’s controversial and highly public stand.
A separate poll from the Washington Post and ABC News shows voters split down the middle on their opinion of the president’s support for same-sex unions.
The CBS poll gives Romney 46 percent support, as opposed to 43 percent who say they will cast their ballot to give Obama a second term in the White House. The last poll from the organizations, taken in mid-April, had the two men tied, while in March Obama had an 11-point lead.
The poll was taken between Friday and Sunday. Obama announced his support for gay marriage on Wednesday last week and his announcement to ABC’s Robin Roberts dominated the news for days.
Despite that, 62 percent said that the economy was the most important issue when it comes to picking a president, with only 7 percent saying gay marriage topped their list of priorities.
A total of 26 percent said they were less likely to vote for Obama because of his gay marriage stance, with 16 percent saying they would be more likely to vote for him. When it came to Romney, 17 percent said they were less likely to vote for him due to his opposition to same sex unions, with 21 percent saying they were more likely to vote for him.
The effect of the CBS poll, combined with daily tracking polls from Rasmussen Reports and Gallup, mean that Obama now leads Romney by 2.2 percentage points in the RealClearPolitics poll of polls. The president has led in that poll – which combines all surveys – since mid-October.
The president’s stance on gay marriage does seem to be having an effect on one of his core voter blocs, however. The Washington Post poll shows 54 percent of African American voters had a favorable impression of Obama’s endorsement, while 37 percent had an unfavorable view.
The figures were virtually the other way around — 58 percent of blacks saying gay marriage was unacceptable, and 35 percent saying it was acceptable — the last time pollsters asked the question in November.
The Post said “the results are an intriguing contrast to where African-American opinion has been on the subject of gay marriage,” but cautioned that the numbers could be skewed by a small sample of voters.
The Post poll showed that, overall, 46 percent of voters approve of the president’s stance, with the same number opposing, but with far more young voters being in favor.
It also showed that support for gay marriage is strongest among liberals, women, those living in the Northeast, and college graduates.
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