GOP leaders are eyeing those polls closely and in the last two years, four Republican senators have announced their support for same-sex marriage. This year, the GOP fielded two openly gay Republican candidates for Congress — though neither won.
Some, like Republican strategist and LGBTQ activist Margaret Hoover, say the party is changing too slowly and needs to put its opposition to gay marriage to rest.
“I think the fact that the majority of Republicans don’t support same sex marriage or LGBTQ freedom is detrimental to reaching out and connecting to a new generation of voters,” said Hoover, who is also a CNN political commentator.
Hoover runs the American Unity PAC, which spent more than $4 million in the 2014 cycle to support pro-gay marriage and LGBTQ rights Republican candidates, according to the group’s pre-election Federal Elections Commission filing.
The GOP could see at least one pro-gay marriage presidential candidate in the 2016 elections if Sen. Rob Portman — who has a gay son and endorsed same-sex marriage in 2013 — decides to seek the party’s nomination.
“When Mitt Romney was the nominee of the party, could you have imagined that there could be a Republican nominee the next time around who is in favor of same-sex marriage? Even I couldn’t have imagined that,” Hoover said.