Same-sex marriage views pose little risk to Obama, poll suggests

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 05: Bob Sodervick waves a gay pride flag outside of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on June 5, 2012 in San Francisco, California. A federal appeals court announced that it will not rehear arguments on the California's controversial Prop 8 same-sex ban paving the way for the case to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. In February, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the same-sex marriage ban discriminated against gays and lesbians.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

(CBS News) President Obama's announcement last month that he supports same-sex marriage may not hurt him politically, a new poll suggests.

An Associated Press-GfK survey released Friday shows that Mr. Obama's announcement hasn't really changed voters' views about the way the president handles social issues: 52 percent said they trust Mr. Obama to do a better job than Mitt Romney when it comes to handling issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, while 36 percent sided to Romney. The poll results were similar to the results from a poll conducted a week before Mr. Obama's announcement.

Since Mr. Obama changed his views on same-sex marriage, more Democrats now say they strongly approve of the president's handling of the issue -- 41 percent say that, compared to 26 percent who said so last August. At the same time, more Republicans now say they strongly disapprove of his handling of the issue (53 percent compared to 45 percent in August).

The poll also showed that views on same-sex marriage have not really changed, with 42 percent of Americans opposing it and 40 percent in support of it. Last August, according to AP, 45 percent opposed same-sex marriage and 42 percent favored it.

Poll after poll shows that the economy is vastly more important to voters than the issue of same-sex marriage, but the issue is a continued subject of debate in Washington and the states. In a federal court filing issued in Connecticut this week, lawyers for House Republicans suggested they could soon ask the Supreme Court to weigh in on the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage for federal purposes as between a man and a woman.