Data from a new Pew Research Center study shows President Barack Obama’s support for same-sex marriage didn’t change most people’s minds about him.
The survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press showed the majority of those polled, about 52 percent, didn’t have any change in their opinion of the president after he told ABC News he was in favor of same-sex marriages.
And while the Pew survey didn’t draw any conclusions about the president’s decision, or address the election, a brief look at its numbers shows that the same-sex marriage decision may not have a big direct effect on his re-election campaign.
About 25 percent of those polled by Pew said the decision lessened their opinion of President Obama, while 19 percent said they had a more favorable opinion.
But given the already clear divide among voters with a political preference, and known preferences based on age and education, Obama’s announcement doesn’t seem to have “moved the needle” in the re-election process.
In fact, 53 percent of Republicans surveyed said the president’s statement increased their negative opinion of him.
In areas key to the Obama campaign, like his popularity among Independents and young voters, the same-sex marriage decision didn’t appear to change people’s minds.
Among Independents, about 60 percent said the decision had no effect on them at all, while an equal number had more positive or negative opinions of the president.
And 62 percent of young voters said the decision had no impact on them.
The youth vote could be a key to Obama’s re-election, and with jobless numbers at high levels among young workers, the president might need to work to get the youth-vote support he had in 2008.
The Wall Street Journal said on Monday that several conservative groups have formed a Super PAC to target disenfranchised young voters.
A February survey from Pew showed that young workers remained optimistic, despite facing the toughest job climate for their age group in decades.
More than 82 percent of people in that Pew survey from February said finding a job was harder for young adults now than it was for their parents’ generation.
But optimism among young workers remained at 2004 levels, and they were more optimistic than older people in the survey.
The decision may have a indirect affect on the Obama campaign as it seeks donations from sectors like the entertainment industry.
Scott Bomboy is the editor-in-chief of Constitution Daily.