President Barack Obama's public support of same-sex marriage had a negligible effect on public opinion, a new poll released Friday shows.
The latest installment from AP/Gfk shows a sharp split among Americans on the issue: 40 percent support laws allowing same-sex couples to marry, while 42 percent are opposed. That is little different than many other polls, which have also shown that the country remains divided on the matter — even as trends have suggested that support for same-sex marriage is steaidly growing. For example, a poll by AP/Gfk showed that 42 percent of Americans were in favor a law permitting gay and lesbian couples to marry, while 45 percent were opposed.
But even if Obama's endorsement did not trigger a sweeping shift in public opinion, it is clear that his support for same-sex marriage will likely not jeopardize his prospects for re-election. Friday's poll shows 52 percent trust Obama to handle social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage, compared with 36 percent who prefer Romney — virtually the same level of support the president enjoyed on that front in AP/Gfk's survey conducted in early May, a week before his historic announcement.