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NBC/WSJ poll: Obama's gay-marriage announcement a 'draw'



Two weeks after President Obama announced he supports gay marriage, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows that his announcement -- politically -- looks to be a wash.

Larry Downing / Reuters

President Barack Obama gestures upon arriving at Joplin Regional Airport aboard Air Force One in Missouri.

In the poll, a combined 17 percent say it makes them "much more likely" or "somewhat more likely" they will vote for him. That's compared with a combined 20 percent who say the announcement will make them more likely to vote for Mitt Romney, who opposes gay marriage.

Perhaps more importantly, 62 percent say the president's support for gay marriage doesn't make a difference in their vote -- including 75 percent of independents, 76 percent of moderates, 81 percent of African Americans, and 65 percent of residents in the Midwest.

"From my distance, it looks more like a voting draw than anything else," says Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican pollster Bill McInturff.

In addition, the NBC/WSJ poll finds that a majority -- 54 percent -- would support a law in their state making same-sex marriage legal. Twenty four percent would actively support such a law, while 30 percent would favor it but not actively support it.

By comparison, a combined 40 percent say they would oppose such a law.

Asked to reconcile this majority supporting gay marriage in their states with North Carolina recently voting to for an amendment defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, McInturff says the respondents in this poll are different than the types of people who would vote in that kind of election.

The full NBC/WSJ poll -- conducted May 16-20 of 1,000 adults, with an overall margin of error of plus-minus 3.1 percentage points -- will be released at 6:30 pm ET.