Unless you were on Mars last week, you know that President Obama – inadvertently coaxed by bumbling Joe Biden – announced his support for gay marriage.
Not much surprise there, but the revelation sparked some interesting politics.
Quick out of the chutes, Newsweek – the reliably liberal news mag – hit the stands with a very controversial cover announcing Obama as the first gay president … apparently a play off of Bill Clinton’s old claims that he was the first black president.
My bet: it’ll be the highest selling issue of Newsweek ever … with most of its distribution in early November … used by both the far left left and the far right to rally their bases.
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On the heels of the Newsweek feature article, a New York Times survey reported that 2 of 3 people saw through Obama’s “evolution” as being more politically expedient than morally driven.
Consistent with the NY Times survey, the Newsweek article outlined the political rationale:
There was, of course, cold politics behind it.
One in six of Obama’s fundraising bundlers is gay, and he needs gay’s money.
When Obama announced recently that he would not issue an executive order barring antigay discrimination for federal contractors, the gay donors all but threatened to leave him high and dry.
If money was one factor making the move necessary, the youth vote — essential to his demographic coalition and overwhelmingly pro–marriage equality — clinched the logic of it. The under-30s were looking worryingly apathetic, especially compared with 2008. This would fire them back up.
The latest Gallup poll, moreover, offered another incentive.
Marriage equality is now supported by half of Americans in polls.
Independents favor gay marriage by 57 percent.
So it’s been confirmed: gay rights is indeed a wedge issue.
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Another plot twist
Newsweek’s political logic makes sense, except…
The New York Times/CBS News poll indicates that most respondents said that the president’s position (on gay marriage) will not impact how they vote.
But among those who say it will influence their choice, 26 percent said they are less likely to vote for Obama as a result, while 16 percent say they are more likely to.
Doing the arithmetic, that means a net loss of 5% (25% minus 16% = 10% times 50% = 5%) voting for Obama in what’s generally considered a 50/50 race.
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Dissing the media
To close the loop, Obama campaign deputy manager Stephanie Cutter went on MSNBC to dismiss the CBS/New York Times poll as “flawed”.
Note that we cited Newsweek, the NY Times, CBS and MSNBC … not FoxNews or the WSJ … wow.
Stay tuned, this political saga isn’t over.