Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

GOP Pollster: Candidates Seen as Antigay Will Never Win Voters under 30

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

GOP Pollster: Candidates Seen as Antigay Will Never Win Voters under 30

Article excerpt

At a Monitor breakfast Tuesday, GOP pollster Whit Ayers praised Indiana's political system for adapting "remarkably quickly" to the "value conflict" that has erupted over its new religious freedom law, which opponents say discriminates against the gay community. The state's top legislators say they will adjust the law so that discrimination is no longer an issue.

Indiana's Republican Gov. Mike Pence has come under scathing criticism for his defense of the law. Several potential GOP presidential candidates have expressed their support for Governor Pence, including Jeb Bush, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ben Carson, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, whom Mr. Ayers is advising.

While a majority of Americans support gay marriage, nearly three- quarters of Republicans do not, according to Gallup. That's not true for young Republicans, however. More than 60 percent of Republican voters under 30 do support gay marriage, said Ayers, the founder and president of North Star Opinion Research.

"We're headed to the point where a political candidate who is perceived as anti-gay at the presidential level will never connect with people under 30 years old," Ayers said, citing the rapidly changing views on same-sex marriage in America.

That said, gay rights is at the bottom of the list of issues for Republican voters, competing with climate change, he pointed out.

When asked what he might advise a candidate who said he believes in equal rights but thinks marriage ought to be between a man and a woman, Ayers said he would never advise a candidate to alter his or her fundamental beliefs.

But he said that he would work with the candidate to lay out his or moral beliefs in a way that has "a tolerant and accepting tone." People will accept candidates with whom they disagree, he said, as long as a candidate doesn't seem judgmental. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.