While the issue is neither on Obama’s campaign agenda nor that of Romney’s, gay marriage and abortion rights appear to be pushed back into focus as general elections edge closer.
Polls on same sex marriage and abortion rights have seen a great shift in the last decade. From a overwhelmingly large majority in opposition of both, a fairly modest number of American today, have been seen voting in favor of both. More and more Americans are evolving towards greater tolerance. Surprisingly though, as compared to the last year, the number of those in favor, has gone down a bit. According to the Gallop, several swing states such as North Carolina, Ohio and Florida, to name just a few, that Obama won by a small margin, have seen strong majorities voting to ban gay marriages.
The shift has made Obama less likely to win the votes from older and more conservative voters. No wonder, Obama is striving really hard to build upon is existing base of young voters.
On the other hand, while the recent polls appear to be playing in favor of, the issue is nonetheless, equally tricky for him as well. His position on gay marriages might cost him his votes from the younger generation as well as women – a part of the electorate Romney desperately needs to pay attention to.
In a recent statement issued this week, Romney said that his opposition to gay marriages is not based on what the Christian religion teaches, but on the “civil understanding of the needs” of Americans society. “It’s not a religious decision. It’s based upon what I believe is right for the nation and the building of strong generations for the future”, Romney said.
Abortion rights are viewed in an entirely different light, on the other hand. While, the gay community has long left the ghetto and become a part of our everyday life, abortion rights addresses a much private issue, that is often just not only difficult but also sad. In fact a large number college students and young adults are concerned that abortion rights have so far failed to attract due attention.
"Abortion is an ongoing, protracted war," said O'Brien of Catholics for Choice. "Gay rights is the new kid on the block, the new thing, and it's doing particularly well."
For now, both Obama and Romney are trying to turn the heads towards more persistent economic issues rather than gay marriage or abortion rights.