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Portman loses some GOP support over gay marriage

While Ohioans back gay marriage by a slim margin, public support for U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has slipped since the Ohio Republican came out in support of the issue last month, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.

The poll, released Friday morning, found Portman particularly lost ground among Republicans since the last poll, conducted on Feb. 28.

Portman’s latest job approval is 40-31 percent, compared to 44-24 in the previous poll. Support among his own party dropped particularly, with 41 percent of Republicans saying they think less favorably of him since he changed his position on gay marriage.

But Ohioans overall narrowly back gay marriage 48-44 percent — with a a sign that Portman’s announcement could help him politically eventually, said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

“Sen. Rob Portman’s reversal on same-sex marriage has cost him a little support in his Republican base, but has little impact among Democrats and independent voters,” Brown said. “The movement in his numbers has not been massive and the overall movement towards acceptance of same-sex marriage, which we see in Ohio and elsewhere, could help him in the long run, especially if he seeks reelection four years from now.”

The poll was conducted between April 10 and April 15. Live interviewers working for Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,138 registered voters using land lines and cell phones. The margin of error was +- 2.9 percentage points.

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