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Political Insiders Poll

May 17, 2012

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


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



“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.”

“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.”


“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?


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


“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.”


“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? 


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


“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.”


“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.”


“Still a huge long shot, but if Scott Walker wins the recall, the Mittster will have an opening. Let him spend money, though—it’ll be good cheese after bad.”

“Wisconsin is a 50-50 state and will be close.”

“Two words: Scott Walker.”

“So much extra money and attention there ... throws off the traditional election calculus.”

“With the recall race, Wisconsin voters have been bombarded with anti-Democratic Party candidate ads like no other state—as such, they may not trust anyone, and that hurts Obama.”

“Wisconsin, by default, but Romney’s chances are still not great there. Romney’s failure to make any real inroads into blue states is a major problem for the GOP.”

“He can forget about Michigan after his auto-industry comments, and Pennsylvania is too blue for Mitt. Wisconsin may be in reach for him, but it’s still a stretch.”

“Wisconsin is glow-in-the-dark purple these days. He cannot overcome his position on the auto bailout in Michigan or the Democratic political operation in Pennsylvania.”


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


Michigan: 23%
Pennsylvania: 30%
Wisconsin: 48%


“Strong home-state ties. The Romney name is still gold in Michigan.”

“Mitt’s native state, and those voters are madder than wolverines at Obama these days.”

“The Romney brand still has some value in MI. Enough for a couple-point boost.”


“There’s a lot of West Virginia in central and western Pennsylvania.”

“Pennsylvania really wants to vote GOP this time, and Romney is the perfect Pennsylvania Republican. Romney will run strongly in all Mid-Atlantic states.”

“Coal/energy workers will exact their revenge over President Obama’s ‘green’ agenda.”

“The economy is killing the president, and his endorsement of same-sex marriage will energize the base.”

“Jobs, jobs, jobs!”


“A lot depends on the Wisconsin recall. Walker wins = Romney target. Walker loses = Obama holds.”

“Scott Walker fever, Paul Ryan, rising superstar, and a winnable Senate seat equal brats and root beer for Mitt this election season.”

“The Midwest is the key swing area, but the president has done a masterful job of selling himself as the savior of the auto industry, and Romney’s position is too nuanced to explain. That leaves Wisconsin.”

“Pennsylvania usually breaks Republicans’ hearts, and Romney is on the wrong side of the auto bailout in Michigan. But if Scott Walker hangs on in Wisconsin, the unions’ back will be broken, and we can compete there.”

“Wisconsin has had a good taste of hard-core, union-based ‘progressivism’ over past two years—and doesn’t like it.”

“Pigs will fly before a Republican wins Pennsylvania in a presidential campaign.”

“Out-of-state recall-election funding and close Senate race push turnout sky-high and make Wisconsin more of a national barometer.”


Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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