Gay Marriage Stance Does Not Help Obama With Michigan Voters, But Prohibiting Sexual Orientation Discrimination Has Broad Support, LE&A/Denno Research Poll Says
LANSING, (June 26, 2012) – A statewide poll taken recently by Lambert, Edwards & Associates (LE&A) – Michigan’s largest bi-partisan public relations firm – and Denno Research shows that President Barack Obama’s support of gay marriage does little to bolster votes for him in the state, with only one quarter of those surveyed saying they were likely to vote for the incumbent as a result of his announcement.
Conducted June 14-15, the survey asked voters whether they would be more or less likely to vote for President Obama since he announced his support for gay marriage. Only 26 percent said they were more likely, while 40 percent said less likely, and 34 percent were unsure.
Democrats were largely more supportive of President Obama’s stance on the issue, with 56 percent of individuals who identified themselves as Democrats supporting the President. A hefty 71 percent of Republicans were not supportive. The biggest surprise in the results, however, came from the state’s independent voters.
“The fact that only 17 percent of polled independent voters were supportive of the President’s stance on gay marriage – and that 41 percent indicated they were less likely to vote for him as a result – may be some cause for concern with this crucial group,” said Jeff Lambert, President and Managing Partner of LE&A. “President Obama needs to focus his electoral efforts on other issues – like job creation – if he wants to gain the independent vote in Michigan.”
Though President Obama’s gay marriage announcement didn’t broadly change voter opinion in Michigan, the idea of changing the state’s Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation was widely supported throughout the state.
Sixty-five percent of voters were supportive of such an amendment to the Act, with only 25 percent opposed or strongly opposed. Ten percent of voters were unsure. Independent voters were largely supportive, with 65 percent supporting the bill.
“Our poll clearly showed wide support for this amendment to Michigan’s Civil Rights Act,” said Dennis Denno, President of Denno Research. “The critical factor in this result was our finding with independent voters. When 65 percent of independents support anything, it’s typically a clear indicator that the people of Michigan would like this change to happen.”
Under Michigan’s current Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, it is illegal to discriminate against someone based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status or marital status. Adding sexual orientation to the act would require state legislative action.
The LE&A/Denno Research poll has a +/- of 4 percent.
About Lambert, Edwards & Associates
Named the 2010 PRWeek Small Agency of the Year, LE&A (www.lambert-edwards.com) is a top-10 Midwest-based PR firm and a top-20 investor relations firm nationally with clients based in 20 states and five countries. As Michigan’s only statewide firm – with offices in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Detroit – LE&A serves middle-market companies and national brands in five practice areas: Automotive, Consumer, Financial Communications, Health Care and Public Affairs. LE&A has posted 12 consecutive years of growth, been named an Edward Lowe “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” and earned four Silver Anvil awards – the PR profession’s highest honor. Follow us on Twitter: @LambertEdwards.
About Denno Research
The staff of Denno Research brings more than 20 years of experience in polling and they are a full service public opinion company located in Michigan. They offer experience in polling for political campaigns, corporations, associations, and non-profit organizations and have worked with clients in both Michigan and New Jersey. They have been in business since 2004 and have conducted statewide surveys to measure the pulse of voters since 2006.
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