On balance, do you think the Democratic Party platform’s support for gay marriage will help or hurt President Obama’s chances for reelection?
Democrats (163 VOTES)
Volunteered: Neither, no impact, 3%.
“Foes already know of party’s support of GLBT issues. President needs to do what’s right and own it to move [our] base.”
“It energized a pretty solid group of supporters and check writers.”
“Shows courage to take on a controversial issue, fires up his base, helps with young people.”
“Opponents have no intention of ever voting for or paying attention to Obama.”
“Gotta stand by your people, and the nation’s view is shifting.”
“Little impact: He has already staked out his position; party platform not real relevant.”
“Even Clint Eastwood agrees with his empty chair on this one.”
“Is the right thing to do, but it is going to hurt us a bit in North Carolina and Ohio.”
“It’s like waving a red cape at opponents, and it’ll shave votes from African-Americans and Catholic Hispanics.”
Republicans (152 VOTES)
Volunteered: Neither, no impact, 5%.
“Times they are a-changin’, and my party doesn’t quite get that yet.”
“If the GOP base isn’t already fired up, we don’t have a chance. This is a play by the Democrats for the middle and a smart political move.”
“Young people think Republicans are crazy and old when we continue to oppose this.”
“31-0 in votes against in state [referendums]—most of us would call that a clue.”
“Nonissue for the vast majority of voters; hurts him at the margins in battleground states.”
“Everyone knows Dems are largely supportive, but Obama is now defined as the first president to support gay marriage: He doesn’t gain votes from that, but likely loses some.”
“There are far more culturally conservative voters than gays and lesbians.”
“Even though supporting gay marriage is the right thing to do, it is divisive.”
“It furthers the ‘war on religion’ story among key Catholic independent blocs.”
For a list of the Insiders, please visit nationaljournal.com/2012-conventions-insiders.
This article appears in the September 4, 2012, edition of NJ Convention Daily.