Poll shows Michigan residents prefer Obama, split on gay marriage

A new poll shows President Barack Obama leading presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney in Michigan by roughly five points.

Obama has support from 45.1 percent of Michigan residents, while Romney has support from 39.5 percent of the state's voters, according to a poll conducted by Glengariff Group Inc., a Chicago-based marketing research firm. Another 15.4 percent are undecided.

Obama won the state easily in 2008, beating Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., by 16 percent. With the recent poll showing much closer numbers, the president may have a more heated campaign in Michigan this year as he seeks re-election.

The president's lead is largely due to strong support from women. While Obama is virtually tied with Romney among men, he leads his likely challenger by almost 12 percent among women.

Young voters under the age of 30 prefer Obama by a large margin, 51.7 percent to 35.6 percent, while seniors are evenly split between the two likely candidates. Romney leads Obama by small margins among voters in their 30s and 40s.

The former Massachusetts governor has a small lead over the president among independents, leading Obama by roughly four percent.

Romney beats the president among white voters by almost nine percent in the poll, while 94.2 percent of surveyed black voters said they support Obama.

After Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage last week, the poll found support for marriage for gays and lesbians growing at a rapid pace.

In another Glengariff poll conducted in January 2011, 50.2 percent of Michigan voters surveyed said they opposed same-sex marriage, while 38.5 percent supported it. Now, 44.3 percent of voters support same-sex marriage, with 43.7 percent opposed.

Support for civil unions for gay and lesbian couples is high in the state, with 56.5 percent of voters in support of them and 31.8 percent opposed.

In an unprecedented move, Obama came out in support of same-sex marriage in an interview with ABC News last week.

"At a certain point, I've just concluded that for me, personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married," Obama said.

Obama said he was taking a personal position, adding that he still feels the issue of same-sex marriage should be left to the states.

Romney reaffirmed his opposition to same-sex marriage during a commencement speech at the conservative Liberty University last weekend.

"Marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman," Romney said.

In 2004, Michigan voters approved a measure that banned same-sex marriage and civil unions statewide. Just over 58 percent of voters voted in favor of the measure.