Another day, another poll. But here's one that's sure to raise eyebrows: The adult entertainment industry overwhelmingly supports President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney, according to a new survey by the porn industry trade journal XBIZ.COM.
Sixty-eight percent of the respondents, made up of adult entertainment industry members, told XBIZ they prefer Obama as president, while 13 percent said they prefer Romney. About 14 percent of respondents said they want "someone else" as president, and five percent said they "don't care."
Several porn kingpins told the trade journal the results made sense. Hustler founder Larry Flynt, who offered a $1 million cash prize last month for information relating to Romney's tax returns and offshore bank accounts, said he was "not surprised" by the results. Vivid Entertainment CEO Steven Hirsch, who famously offered $5 million to Pippa Middleton to appear in an adult movie, told XBIZ "most people involved with the adult industry have a liberal view of government."
But Patrick Trueman, president of the anti-porn nonprofit Morality in Media, says the results offer other insights.
Trueman has long accused the Obama administration of being soft on the porn industry, and tells Whispers "the Obama administration has refused to initiate even one indictment against an illegal pornographer." Federal law prohibits the distribution of obscene, or hardcore, pornography on the Internet, TV, or through retail shops, and anti-porn activists says U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has been lax in enforcing those laws.
The Justice Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Whispers.
"These are the people that are flourishing because of the failure of the Obama administration to enforce the laws," says Trueman of the adult entertainment industry members surveyed. "The Obama administration just doesn't understand the harm it is causing."
During the presidential primaries, Morality in Media says it sent letters to both presidential campaigns asking the candidates to voice their commitment to the enforcement of America's obscenity laws if elected. "I got no response from Obama," says Trueman, a statement that could not be immediately verified with the Obama campaign. "But I got a call from the Romney campaign just a few days later, saying: 'We want to meet you.'"
Trueman says he went to Boston, where the Romney campaign is based, and sat down for an hour with a Romney aide. According to an April 2011 Think Progress story on the meeting, Romney's political director and legal policy adviser Alex Wong promised Morality in Media then that Romney "would pursue prosecutions" of pornographers and that the issue is "important to them."
The Romney campaign said it was working to confirm that meeting happened.
Obama has been criticized on the pornography issue before. In March 2011, GOP presidential candidate and prominent social conservative Rick Santorum doubled down on his comments that the Justice Department under Obama "seems to favor pornographers over children and families."
A month later, Holder was criticized for quietly closing down the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, a Justice Department unit created under the Bush administration to help fight the spread of obscene material on the Internet.
Romney, on the other hand, has increasingly curried favor with anti-porn crusaders, while pornography kingpins recently told Forbes they were deeply worried about their future under a Romney presidency.