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The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

May 9, 2012 at 2:36 PM

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Obama and gay marriage: What's the impact?

The blog-o-sphere, twitter-verse and airwaves are buzzing with the big news. President Obama has come out in favor of gay marriage. It's unclear if he arrived at his decision on his own schedule or was forced into it by the loquacious vice president, Joseph Biden.

There will be no end to the speculating about how this affects the presidential campaign, especially in swing states. But Obama's announcement is sure to have an impact in some places, including right here in Washington, where a gay marriage referendum, potentially rolling back the state's new law, is expected to be on the November ballot.

A few things stand out in the analysis. Public attitudes in favor of gay marriage are changing rapidly. I am intrigued by the effect on younger voters, captured in this piece by Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post. Younger voters helped boost the president to victory in 2008. But after slogging through the disappointment of a dismal job market, voters 18-29 are less excited about the president. Some polls show 65 percent of voters in that age group support gay marriage.

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This table shows campaign contributions to each gubernatorial candidate. Gov. Chris Gregoire's funds are from before she declared she isn't running again. Click here for more info on other races.


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