A bare majority of voters in Florida and Ohio, and nearly half in Virginia, support the right of same-sex couples to wed, according to September Washington Post polls showing that the national trend toward accepting such unions has taken hold in these swing states.
The growing support is a sharp departure from eight years ago, when opposition to gay marriage was so widespread that it may have helped tip the scales in favor of President George W. Bush’s reelection. Today, the politics of the issue is murkier.
In Florida, 54 percent of voters think same-sex marriage should be legal, while 33 percent say it should be illegal. In Ohio, 52 percent say it should be legal, while 37 percent say it should be illegal.
In 2004, by contrast, nearly two-thirds of Ohio voters — 62 percent — supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as “only a union between one man and one woman.” The Ohio ballot initiative may have driven more voters to the polls who then supported Bush, according to exit surveys.