No doubt Barack Obama did not intend to do Mitt Romney a favor when he announced his support for same-sex marriage last week.
But for Romney, the announcement provided a critical opportunity, both to energize the social conservatives in his base and to drive a wedge between Obama and certain key demographics. “There is a greater opening now [for Romney] with Hispanic voters and African Americans,” a GOP strategist says.
Some African-American pastors have indicated that they are concerned about the decision. Obama held a conference call with a group of top black religious leaders almost immediately after announcing his support for gay marriage, according to the New York Times, which reported that a “vocal few made it clear that the president’s stand on gay marriage might make it difficult for them to support his re-election.”