Politico Arena Topic: Does the Newsweek Cover announcing Obama as "The First Gay President" help or hurt Obama's reelection chances?
Well you can bet the Newsweek cover declaring Barack Obama to be the first gay president will make its way into more than one anti-Obama ad. However, I believe it will be a net positive for the Obama campaign going forward. Social and religious conservatives who are appalled by the President’s support for same-sex marriage were never going to vote for him anyway—even if he were the last eligible candidate on the planet. And the drop off in support for Obama among some independents will likely be offset by increased support among other independents and an energized base that, for the first time since 2009, sees glimpses of the hope and change candidate they voted for in 2008.
The fact is that a majority of Americans now view same sex relationships as socially acceptable (54% according to a recent Gallup poll compared to 55% who found it unacceptable just 10 years earlier). And 50% of Americans now think same-sex marriage should be legal. The GOP is out of step with America on this issue and will be increasingly at odds as the trends are moving toward even greater acceptance. The real key for Obama is that young people (18-34) are overwhelmingly in favor of same-sex marriage with 2/3 supporting it according to Gallup. This is absolutely an issue that could energize younger folks to get out and vote for Obama which will help him compete in many of the battleground states in 2012.
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