August 8, 2007 / 3:26 PM / 11 years ago

Gay endorsements have scant impact on U.S. voters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - It does not matter to most voters in three key U.S. states whether a presidential candidate has the backing of gay rights groups, according to a new poll on Wednesday.

Suzanne Katz (L) and partner Mirna Montejo attend a rally in support of legalization of gay marriage at the Unitarian Church in Montclair, New Jersey, October 25, 2006. It does not matter to most voters in three key states whether a presidential candidate has the backing of gay rights groups, according to a new poll on Wednesday. REUTERS/Jeff Zelevansky

Ahead of a Thursday night debate for Democrats in Los Angeles devoted to gay issues, Quinnipiac University’s Swing State Poll asked about the impact of campaign endorsements by gay groups on voters in Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In Ohio, 54 percent say such endorsements make no difference, while 34 percent said it would make them less likely to support a candidate and 10 percent said it would make them more likely to back a campaign.

The numbers were similar for Pennsylvania and Florida.

At the same time an endorsement by a labor union was an overall positive in all three states.

“Being perceived as the candidate of gay rights turns off more voters than it attracts, although in general being considered the candidate of a special interest group seems to be a political loser,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of Quinnipiac’s polling unit.

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