Rob Portman Sees GOP Support Slip After Backing Marriage Equality

Senator Rob Portman has seen a loss of support from Republicans since coming out for marriage equality in March, the WaPo reports:

PortmanForty percent of Ohio voters approve of Sen. Rob Portman’s job performance in a new Quinnipiac poll; 31 percent disapprove. Last month, 44 percent approved of his work and 24 disapproved.

The dip is due to a 13-point increase in his disapproval rating among  Republicans. Forty-one percent of GOP voters said they view Portman less favorably because of his shift. Overall, 20 percent of voters think more favorably of the senator now, 25 percent think less favorably and 53 percent say it makes no difference. Portman’s disapproval rating with independents is also up slightly.


  1. says

    he needs to put two and two together – it’s not enough to simply (and actually, passively) support Marriage Equality – after years of promoting anti-gay prejudices, this man is now realizing that those prejudices, against his own son, are a BIIIIIIG part of his party.

    so, what’s he gonna do about it? get out, baby. grassroots. campaign. travel. talk. share.

    if your support is dropping it means those people don’t care about “your kid” yet, just like you (for years) didnt’ care about Other People’s Kids.

    time to wake these folks up and help them to see that a LOT of them are in fact discriminating against their own kids. and also, maybe, you could touch on the new information you discovered that gay couples marrying won’t actually have a negative impact on the lives of anti-gay heterosexuals.

    just a thought.

  2. BobN says

    Maybe if he clarifies his position — support for DOMA, support for Prop 8, opposition to national recognition of SSM — he can get them back…

  3. David Groff says

    Pro-marriage equality or not, he is still contemptible: he voted against the Manchin-Toomey bill on background checks.

  4. says

    Of course many Republicans hate him. These same haters are petrified that one of their family members will come out as LGBT and ruin their reputation at church.

  5. nick says

    Rob Portman only changed his position on gay marriage due to the revelation that his son is gay. He remains a good little soldier in the Rethuglican party and he will be re-elected easily in Ohio. He is not a friend to progressive causes and has stated he will not advocate for any gay issues in the future.

  6. says

    “These same haters are petrified that one of their family members will come out as LGBT and ruin their reputation at church.”


    That’s why Salmon and his lemming son are taking the stance they’re both taking.

  7. Gigi says

    @Little Kiwi — Agreed. Although the Salmons are doing better than some. My ex was told by his Mormon family to kill himself after he came out. His dad was high up in the LDS church and they felt his suicide would be better than having to live with an openly gay son. Sadly he took their advice and killed himself.

  8. says

    was your ex’s dad Rick Warren? because, um, same thing there.

    yeah. i said it.

    i don’t mean to be flippant. much love to you and i’m so sorry for your loss.

    but i’m sure you know what i’m getting at. we still live in a culture where a family will care more about what the proverbial “neighbours” think than how their own blood FEELS.

    whether it’s rick warren refusing to even QUESTION if in fact his years of anti-gay prejudice played any role in the life-long struggle with depression his youngest son had, or even (perhaps) of people with life-long struggles with depression should be allowed to own and carry guns (!?)…..

    but no. let’s just say “oh, mental illness. yeah. we need to erase the stigma of mental illness!” rather than address any of the socia factors that compound said illness.

    Gigi, have you seen the stats on anti-depressant use among the LDS? it’s astronomical.

  9. says

    well, if the GOP’s response to Portman’s brave deicision to publicly…uh…believe his son deserves to be seen and treated as an Equal (i barfed from my eyes whilst typing that, btw) that doesn’t seem likely,

    Santorum, Boehner, and a few others chimed in to say “well, if MY kid was gay I’d still be anti-gay!”

    then enter Sen. Salmon who one-upped them by saying “my son IS gay and i totally don’t support gay marriage! i don’t even support gays adopting! i did, however, support my son being in reparative therapy. i’m an awesome dad”

    as was said months ago, Portman is in a tricky spot – his job? to get republicans to do what he was unable to do – empathize and give a f**k about someone else’s child.

    republicans would sooner attend their kid’s funerals than their weddings to someone of the same sex or gender.

  10. Francis #1 says

    Well, the Rob Portman love story has withered away in a little over a month.

    He does not care about gay rights, or the LGBTQ community. He does not care about us. He cares about his son. That’s nice. He’s a good dad. That doesn’t make him an ally at all.

    As for the GOP deleting support of Portman, that comes as no surprise. This is Ohio, a moderate state, that probably leans more social conservative. His announcement was never going to be a political winner. On that basis, I respect the fact he did publicly come out in support of his son and his right to marry.

  11. says

    well…he SORTA cares about his son. Not enough to stop him from voting for the man, and party, who were working to keep discrimination against his son on the books….

  12. JJ says

    Portman didn’t change his position out of principle. He didn’t think about what fairness and justice mean and find that a commitment to those ideals required support for SSM. No, it was about loyalty for him. His loyalties were divided, he was forced to choose between party and family, and he chose his son. From his party’s point of view, he turned his back on them–and selfishly–and that’s a betrayal.

    Good! I hope the issue drives a wedge between ever more republicans. Let them writhe in their own hatred as it dissolves their power away.

  13. AG says

    The comments in this thread are clear. You people hate Republicans much more than you care about gay marriage. If gay marriage were really important to you, you would have been saddened that Republican voters are turning their back on Portman, because gay marriage is not yet popular enough among all segments of the society. But you’re just Dem hacks who happen to be attracted to persons of the same sex.

  14. AG says

    Of course, I say this as a Republican and my own family hate gay people and don’t support marriage equality, either.

    If my parents hadn’t neutered me before I hit puberty I might be man enough to see that the lack of support for Portman is not coming from Democrats, but my fellow Republicans. But I’m too sad to accept that my own people don’t love me so I’m going to pretend that it’s the fault of liberals that conservatives aren’t supporting this man for sort of supporting his gay son.

    I’m AG, and I would best serve my country by being used as landfill.

  15. Dan Mc says

    Portman’s drop with the independent voters has more to do with him voting with his cronies to to not even let the discussion on gun laws occur. Voting ‘no’ is one thing but voting to not even let it be debated is quite another thing.

    The Fundies will run a wacko against him in the primary next year. Then he can sit and watch the general election.

  16. says

    I think that politicians need to realize that doing the right thing is more important than getting re elected. Does he really value the support of people who oppose marriage rights for all?