Gay Marriage No Big Deal For Virginia Voters

VALoversSome Democrats think President Obama's endorsement of marriage equality will help boost his reelection efforts, but a new poll from Virginia suggests same-sex nuptials are of little concern to voters struggling under a stagnant economy.

Via CBS:

When poll respondents were asked how Obama’s [gay marriage support] would affect their support for him, 24 percent said it makes them less likely to support the Democrat’s re-election and 14 percent said it makes them more likely to back him. But a majority — 60 percent — said it won’t matter.

Conversely, when asked whether Republican nominee-apparent Mitt Romney’s opposition to gay marriage would affect their vote, 23 percent said they were less likely to vote for him, 21 percent said they were more likely to support him, and 53 percent said it doesn’t matter.

Though these numbers may be discouraging to some, let us just remember that a mere eight years ago gay marriage was a huge wedge issue that got people riled up. Now it gets a shrug. That is progress, believe it or not.


  1. Michaelandfred says

    It’s also why these special elections like Amendment One are so unreliable as a gage of what is really happening. When we hear, “60% of the voters in……!!” That’s 60% of those that actually cared enough to go to the polls on a subject that has nothing to do with them. Only 33% in N Carolina actually went to the polls. The rest just don’t care. It would be nice if they did take the time to stand up for others rights, but 23% of the voters against marriage equality is a far cry from 77%.

  2. Keith says

    Put me in the “I don’t believe it” column. I think the only reason this doesn’t get more traction now is that voters have already enshrined the prohibition to marriage equality in the state. There’s no longer a threat in their view to a change in the definition of marriage, so why worry about it. This poll doesn’t mean that the citizens are shifting to a stance of full support for marriage equality and a willingness to overturn their constitutional amendment. Ask that question and get an answer, and then I’ll believe the results.

  3. Tony says

    I agree with Keith above; the ‘phobes feel secure. Anti same-sex marriage is enshrined both in the Code of Virginia (general statutes) and the Constitution. One of the most virulent anti-gay Republican state legislators is running for the US Senate. He has a shot. Not exactly signs of progress in the Commonwealth.

  4. Paul R says

    I would be reluctant to view Virginia as a bellwether of pretty much anything. The state is partly advanced (north) and partly backward (south), but the backward part tends to be more prominent. And people lie all the time when asked if they’re hateful bigots.

  5. KT says

    This seems like a very flawed poll – it might have been more accurate to ask the respondants that if Obama and Romney had opposite views on SSM, would they still vote for them. People say it doesn’t matter what Romney’s view on SSM is because they know he is against it. Since they are assured he will not come out in favor of it, it is not a major factor in their mind when it comes to voting. The better question would have been if Mitt Romney came out for SSM, would you still vote for him. If that question was asked, I’m sure the numbers would be very different.

    Besides, even if the views are accurate and people truely don’t care, that is not exactly good news for us. That means they won’t protest SSM but also won’t go out of their way to promote it either. They just don’t care – and apathy can be just as detrimentatl as oppostition.

  6. beef and fur says

    Really? How encouraging for those of us who live here and fought Bob Marshall (closeted homo / state representative) during the Marshall – Newman Marriage Amendment battle, which as the posters above point out is firmly planted in the VA Constitution. Wow. They like us now. I feel like Sally Field. Pardon me while I prepare my speech.

  7. Bill says

    Give me a break! They care when gay people might get on a level playing field with them to turn up to the polls in greater numbers than they normally would but they don’t care about gay people, they don’t care about trashing gay people.

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