Poll says GOP voters don’t know Campbell favors gay marriage

The vast majority of Tom Campbell’s supporters in his bid for the GOP nomination to take on U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer don’t know that he supports gay marriage, according to a new poll by a national anti-gay marriage group.

Only 2 percent of current Campbell supporters were aware that he explicitly supports same-sex marriage and opposed Proposition 8, the 2008 initiative that ended these marriages in California.

The poll was commissioned by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a Washington, D.C., based group that has been working to defeat and repeal gay marriage bids in several states. They commissioned the poll of 500 likely GOP voters, conducted March 12-15 by the firm QEV Analytics. NOM is also working to make sure GOP voters know Campbell’s position. On March 15, they released a 30-second ad called “Two peas in a pod.” It links Campbell to three positions he shares with Boxer—raising income taxes and gas taxes, and marriage—and concludes “two peas, same liberal pod.” It ran on several TV stations earlier this month, and NOM said they would continue to target Campbell ahead of the June 8 primary.

According to a Field Poll released on March 18, Campbell continues to lead the pack for the nomination, enjoying the support of 28 percent of those polled. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina had 22 percent, which Assemblyman Chuck DeVore, R-Irvine, had 9 percent.

These numbers have remained fairly steady since Campbell jumped out of the race for Governor in January. Meanwhile, the GOP nomination is looking like a better and better prize, since Boxer’s numbers have slipped from a strong lead to a statistical tie with a theoretical GOP challenger.

NOM wants to make sure Campbell isn’t that challenger.

“I think that once people realize just how liberal Campbell is, his support will wither in the polls,” said NOM’s executive director, Brian Brown.

The NOM poll also found that these likely GOP primary voters supported Prop. 8 by a 70 percent to 22 percent margin. Among Campbell supporters and undecided voters, 39 percent said they were less likely to vote for him after being told of his gay marriage stance, while 11 percent said they would be more likely to support him.

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