Monday, December 10, 2012

More disagree with Obama on same-sex marriage, but still approve of him on the issue

Here's an interesting disconnect in the new Politico survey.

48% approve of Barack Obama's handling of gay marriage, and 42% disapprove for a +6% net approval rating.

Yet from the same sample, only 40% want same-sex marriage to be legal, while 54% don't want it to be legal.

In other words, Obama gets a +6% approval rating on gay marriage from a sample that, by 14%, doesn't agree with his position!

So what gives?

Here are a couple theories.

1. Quite a few people think Obama is still against gay marriage.

That's a distinct possibility. The brief flurry of stories on his switcheroo was just that -- brief, and they all came long before the general election when more people pay attention to these things.

Sure, Democrats (particularly at the convention) embraced same-sex marriage this cycle, but it wasn't exactly part of Obama's regularly talking points.

2. Obama is so popular right now that even if people disagree with him on an issue, they still approve of the job he's doing on that issue.

That's a total mind-blower, but you have to consider it a possibility. Some people go about their daily lives, comfortably unaware of the contradictory conclusions their mind has manufactured.

But... the only time that usually happens on a presidential level is when a president is extremely popular, and right now Obama is pretty popular with a net approval rating of +10% in the RCP average and blowout +13% and +16% ratings in Rasmussen and The AP's latest surveys, respectively.

If #2 is the case, then Republicans are in a dangerous position on the fiscal cliff, indeed. Why? Because according to this phenomenon, the public can agree with the GOP-position all day long, but will always side with Obama in the fight.

[Photo: White House/Pete Souza]