Earlier this month, some polls implied that President Obama’s support among Latinos was so high that he was “close to maxing out” his lead over Mitt Romney. Think about that — Obama statistically could not get any more popular with Hispanics. The president might explode or something.
But then Obama went ahead and said that he supported gay marriage, and Republicans shouted that Latinos were so outraged that they were going to abandon the Democratic Party and vote for Romney, who of course, is semi-pseudo-quasi Mexican. The only problem with this GOP wishful thinking is that it is not based in reality.
Although accurate polling numbers following Obama’s announcement are not yet available, there is no reason to believe that the president’s popularity with Latinos will take a serious hit. The primary reason for this is that despite the Republican Party’s earnest insistence, Hispanics simply are not as socially conservative as the GOP thinks. In fact, support for gay marriage is actually stronger among Latinos than it is among the general population, and Latinos are more likely than Americans overall to say that homosexuality should be accepted in society. One reason for this may be because Hispanics tend to be younger and more open to the idea of two men or two women saying “I do.”
Still, we all know Hispanic culture and Catholicism are strongly intertwined, so perhaps Latinos who listen to the pope are more likely to be stewing in rage. Well, actually, it seems that “a majority of Latino Catholics… support marriage equality.” Furthermore, among Catholics, “69 percent said that good Christians should accept all people as God’s creation and not cast judgment.” Incidentally, that number (69 percent) is also the same percentage of Latinos who favor “allowing gay or lesbian couples to marry in their church.” Yes, you read that correctly — right there in church in front of God and everybody.
So, who are these socially conservative Latinos who refuse to vote for Obama because he’s in favor of gay marriage? Apparently, they are quite similar to white social conservatives, in that they are born-again evangelicals. Latino evangelicals, who now constitute about 15 percent of the Hispanic population, “are twice as likely as those who are Catholic to vote Republican.”
But these Latinos were unlikely to vote for Obama in the first place, once again verifying that the president’s announcement will probably not cost him much support among people named Garcia or Lopez.
Either that, or they should just brace themselves for the sight of Adam and Steve dancing together at Obama’s second inaugural ball.