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Obama gay marriage stance could win younger voters, lose independents


The following ran on the May 9, 2012, edition of The Hill. Political Scientist Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

May 11, 2012

By Amie Parnes

President Obama’s unexpected announcement on Wednesday that he supports gay marriage ignited his political base but risks a backlash with independent voters in swing states.

Supporters on the left were particularly fired up by Obama’s shift, but political observers pointed to Tuesday night’s vote in North Carolina, where voters overwhelmingly opted to define marriage as legal only between one man and one woman, as proof the decision could come back to haunt the president.

“Last night’s vote in North Carolina was certainly a warning and a bit of a cautionary tale for the Obama campaign,” said Cal Jillson, a professor of political science at Southern Methodist University. “They’ve got to be taking notes.”...