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POLITICAL INSIDERS POLL

Political Insiders Poll

Will President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage help or hurt the Democratic Party on Election Day?

DEMOCRATS (106 VOTES)

Help: 42%
No impact: 36%
Hurt: 23%

 

Help

“Progressives needed a flag to wave. This year, it will be rainbow stripes.”

“The president’s support is consistent with who we are as Democrats—for equality and civil rights.”

 

“The president acted on principle, which is always the right way to go for lasting morale. In doing so, he also energized an influential and financially important segment of the base.”

“Americans like presidents who have guts. And if the biggest rap on Romney is that he can’t make tough decisions, Obama just made one.”

“This will be an election of inches. A percentage or two [in] turnout within certain groups can make all the difference.”

No impact

 

“Potential for vote-switching over the marriage issue is almost nonexistent.”

“It will have no impact, which is tremendous progress!”

“This is one instance where doing the right thing trumps the political outcome. LBJ did the right thing, and it cost Democrats the South.”

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“About the same number love it as hate it. The rest of us don’t care. I think everyone knew his true stance way before the announcement. He just got outed by Biden.”

Hurt

“This did more to get evangelicals to embrace Romney than the governor could have done on his own.”

“Hurt marginally this cycle, but this will kill the Republicans in the next several election cycles.”

“Democrats like Jon Tester and Claire McCaskill and those who aren’t running in deep-blue states will pay a price.”

 

Will President Obama’s support for same-sex marriage help or hurt the Democratic Party on Election Day?

REPUBLICANS (106 VOTES)

Help: 13%
No impact: 21%
Hurt: 66%

Help

“Plays to the base and butters them up in the hopes that they stick with him after they see what comes next: a grotesque pandering to the middle and the search for a Sister Souljah moment.”

No impact

“I really have a hard time believing this topic is what people will be talking about in October.”

“If he told us how many unemployed same-sex couples would go back to work, that would make an impact.”

Hurt

“People are concerned about jobs more than anything—and people will see through Obama’s pandering to his base on an issue that doesn’t concern the majority of the electorate.”

“Even a slight dip in Obama’s level of support among Latinos and African-Americans can hurt their campaign-turnout models in key battleground states like North Carolina and Virginia.”

“Obama has done in four days what would have taken Romney four months—he instantly energized the GOP base.”

“While it’ll give him all the warm and fuzzies he craves from the coastal elites, it’ll alienate folks in the fly-overs who still believe in traditional values.”

“He gains money but loses votes. He doesn’t need more money.”

“Obama’s full-throated endorsement of gay marriage paints him and his party more deeply into a hard-core liberal corner that will alienate a lot of Democrat-leaning middle-class voters.”

“The First Gay President? How do you think that plays in the heartland?”

 

Which traditionally blue state does Mitt Romney have the best chance of winning? 

DEMOCRATS (102 VOTES)

Michigan: 11%
Pennsylvania: 34%
Wisconsin: 55%

Michigan

“He keeps telling us that his super PAC is spending money there, not Wisconsin, and Obama is taking the state for granted. Arrogance comes before downfall.”

“Best chance of these three isn’t saying much, as he has little chance of winning any of these.”

Pennsylvania

“The economy will continue to help Romney.”

“Gay marriage, gay marriage, gay marriage.”

“Western PA is becoming a growing problem for Democrats, as are the rural areas in the middle.”

“If [Sen. Rob] Portman is on the ticket from neighboring Ohio, with 20 electoral votes, PA is his best shot to win one that counts.”

“The western portion of the Keystone State votes like West Virginia, and we saw how they felt about the president on Tuesday.”

This article appears in the May 16, 2012 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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