Only 11 percent of voters see gay marriage as an important factor in the Iowa Senate contest between Liz Mathis and Cindy Golding.

A Public Policy Polling survey released Sunday shows Democrat Mathis ahead of her Republican rival 52 to 46 percent.

Pollsters also asked: “Is the gay marriage issue the most important factor influencing your vote or not?”

Eleven percent said the issue was guiding their vote, while 86 percent said the issue had not influenced them.

Groups opposed to gay marriage, including the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and Bob Vander Plaat's The Family Leader, have attempted to make the special election about gay marriage, despite the fact that neither candidate has made much of the issue.

“The Future of Marriage Hangs In the Balance,” reads the headline of a NOM mailer attacking Mathis for her tepid support for gay marriage.

“This is a pivotal election contest in our battle to allowing the people of Iowa the opportunity to vote to restore marriage,” said NOM President Brian Brown in a statement.

A Golding win would wipe out Democrats' one seat majority in the Senate, where Majority Leader Michael Gronstal has kept an effort to repeal the state's gay marriage law at bay.

The Iowa Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in 2009.