One Equal World

Sea change in American Opinion

Posted on: May 16, 2012

President Obama’s vocal support for marriage equality may be a major step forward for the cause, but data and research is starting to show that the equality issue itself might be the electoral touchstone that everyone was expecting.

 

According the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Dick Poman  the problem lies in the fact that those who are active in the fight on both sides  are just not a large enough percentage of the electorate to make much of a difference in the overall opinion of the public.  Gallup poll editor Frank Newport backs this up.  As part of their research they,  “ask Americans to name the most important problem facing the country. Two-thirds mentioned some aspect of the economy. Less than 1 percent specifically mentioned issues relating to gay rights or gay marriage.”

 

See, there has apparently been a sea change when it comes to public opinion on the issue. In 2004 the Pew Research Center reported that Americans opposed gay marriage by almost 30 percentage points, today they oppose it by less than five.  We now live in a society where even Ken Mehlman, a former Republican National Committee Chairman hand-picked at the time by Karl Rove, can come out as gay man and actively work within the Republican party for equality.

 

And the Repbulican media machine is taking note, while Fox News initially posted headlines on their website declaring that Obama had launched a “war on marriage” they quickly purged it, understanding that opposing gay marriage will only make them look all the more intolerant and distant from the mainstream voter.

 

So while it’s surely a good thing that Obama is actively supporting gay marriage, it’s only a good first step.

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