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Republican Voters Support Gay Marriage

A new set of polls from NBC News and Marist College are even more surprising than expected.

The expected parts are that Republican voters don’t like presidential candidates who support things like Common Core, immigration reform, doing something about climate change, or raising taxes on the wealthy.

The surprise part is that opposition to gay marriage will also alienate Republican voters. In the poll, around half of likely GOP primary voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina said that opposition to gay marriage is either “mostly” or “totally” unacceptable in a candidate. In Iowa, 47% said opposing gay marriage was unacceptable, while in the other two states 52% (a majority) found it unacceptable.

The days when Republicans could use opposition to gay marriage to attract social conservatives are gone. Today, opposition to gay marriage is more likely to hurt a candidate than help them. These numbers have changed dramatically in just the last year, and are likely to continue to change in favor of candidates who support gay marriage.

The problem is that the current candidates have not kept up. Pretty much every aspiring Republican candidate is on record as opposing gay marriage, including relative Republican moderates like Jeb Bush.



  1. il-08 wrote:

    I think it has just become a non-issue. Except for a sizeable, yet shrinking minority, no one really cares anymore, an amazing change in the last 10 years. I think the majority of repubs are pragmatists, and don’t want to lose an election over this issue.

    The interesting thing to watch will be the analysis over the next 20 years as pollsters, spin-doctors, politicians and social scientists trying to figure out how such a divisive issue morphed into a non issue in such a short period of time, and how they will try to apply lessons learned to other issues.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 11:26 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    I think a lot of credit has to go to the gay community, who changed from the traditional “in your face fighting for our rights” to a more pragmatic approach of showing how they really weren’t all that different from non-gays, with much of the same hopes and dreams. They also showed that marriage for gays didn’t threaten the institution of marriage (it strengthened it!).

    What’s really ironic is that it really should have been conservatives, who believe in individual rights over societal rights and the institution of marriage, as the natural champions of gay marriage.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 11:52 pm | Permalink