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Ohio's Black Voters Support Same-Sex Marriage After Obama's Endorsement, Poll Finds

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OBAMA BLACK VOTERS
President Barack Obama's stance in support of same-sex marriage is shared by 42 percent of black voters in Ohio, according to a new poll. | AP

African-American voters in Ohio are shifting their stance to favor same-sex marriage, according to a new poll released on Tuesday by Public Policy Polling. The findings of the new survey, conducted among voters in the swing state of Ohio, are consistent with an emerging national trend of black voters changing their opinion since President Barack Obama's May same-sex marriage announcement -- from opposing marriage equality to supporting it.

Among the black voters in Ohio polled, 42 percent said they supported the legalization of same-sex marriage while 35 percent said they opposed it. This represents a change of 54 percentage points since October when a poll of black voters showed 63 percent against it and 16 percent in support. A full 76 percent of those surveyed in the new poll support same-sex couples being allowed to either marry or form civil unions.

But the president's endorsement hasn't had the same effect on the majority of Ohioans, according to the poll. Fifty percent of all the voters surveyed in the Buckeye State think same-sex marriage should remain illegal, a rise from PPP's October poll when 55 percent of voters opposed its legalization.

Obama's same-sex marriage endorsement was initially perceived as being controversial for the African-American community, but most polling has shown little evidence that the president's shift in support has had a negative impact on black voters. Despite black voters' concerns about the black unemployment rate, which is nearly twice the national average, the president's approval rating among African-Americans has never dropped below 85 percent since he took office.

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