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Gay marriage? Bullying? Voters don’t care.

at 03:21 PM ET, 05/23/2012

The political world has been consumed in recent weeks by President Obama’s decision to come out in support of same-sex marriage and by a Washington Post story detailing allegations of high school bullying by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney .

And what sort of reaction have these two major stories elicited from the voting public? In a word: “Eh”.

That is, the American public — and, in particular, independent voters — are simply not affected/impacted by these stories, which, in the Washington world, are massive developments.

A slew of recent polling data proves out that indifference.

In a brand spanking new Washington Post-ABC News national poll, 56 percent of registered voters said that Obama’s stance on gay marriage would not be a major factor in their vote. Fifty seven percent of independents said the same.

Here’s that data in chart form:

Polling from NBC/Wall Street Journal, which was also released this week, provides similar results. Sixty two percent said that Obama’s support for gay marriage makes “no difference” in their vote — including 75 percent (!) of independents.

Voters are even less swayed by the Romney bullying story with a remarkable 90 percent of registered voters saying that it would not be a major factor in their vote. (Ninety percent of people agree on almost nothing these days in politics!)

Here’s the bullying data in chart form.

These numbers are a good reminder — and we always can use one — that stories that roil Washington for days or even weeks barely create a ripple with most people who don’t follow politics as their job or their avocation.

That’s particularly true for independents who tend to be low information voters who, even in the best of times, have a passing interest in politics.

The only thing likely to move these undecided voters is the economy and whether they decide things are getting better or getting worse and/but whose fault it is. Everything else is just noise.

 
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