Obama campaign manager claims bias in gay-marriage poll

President Obama’s deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said a poll released Monday that showed most Americans believe Obama’s gay-marriage endorsement was done for political reasons can’t be trusted because it’s biased.

“We can't put the methodology of that poll aside, because the methodology was significantly biased. It is a biased sample,” Cutter said Tuesday on MSNBC’s "Political Rundown." “They sampled a biased sample, so they re-biased the same sample.”

According to a CBS News-New York Times poll released on Monday, 67 percent said Obama’s recent endorsement of gay marriage was given for political purposes, while only 23 percent said it was done out of personal conviction.

The poll wasn’t only bad for Obama on the gay-marriage issue — it also showed him trailing Mitt Romney by 3 percent nationally, largely due to an erosion of support from female voters.

While it’s unusual for a campaign manager to publicly dispute the merits of a poll, some have questioned the poll’s methodology. It’s a “panel-back” survey, meaning that it returned to the same people it surveyed the month before, but this time only received a response from a little more than half of the original sample.

“So I think that the results of that poll are probably pretty off,” Cutter continued. “There’s another poll out today, an ABC-Washington Post poll, that shows the gay-marriage decision was basically a wash, and I think that’s probably accurate. At the end of the day the president came out and said what he felt was right for this country, his personal belief for this country — at the end of the day, though, this isn’t going to decide the election; the economy is still the central question in this election.”

Polls and ballot initiatives suggest the same-sex marriage endorsement was a risky move — it’s presently unpopular in several battleground states, including North Carolina, where last week voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment banning gay marriage. Democrats will hold their national convention there in September.

 However, Obama’s public pronouncement on the issue has energized the gay community and secured for him the kind of campaign donations that his super-PACs had yet to deliver.

On Thursday, Obama raked in $15 million at a fundraiser hosted by actor George Clooney. In June, the president will return to Los Angeles for an LGBT gala and a separate fundraiser hosted by Ryan Murphy, co-creator of the show "Glee," and his fiance David Miller. Obama hopes to pull in another $10 million from the two events.