Gay Vote Proved a Boon for Obama
While President Obama’s lopsided support among Latino and other minority voters has been a focus of postelection analysis, the overwhelming support he received from another growing demographic group — Americans who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual — has received much less attention.
But the backing Mr. Obama received from gay voters also has a claim on having been decisive. Mitt Romney and Mr. Obama won roughly an equal share of votes among straight voters nationwide, exit polls showed. And, a study argues, Mr. Romney appears to have won a narrow victory among straight voters in the swing states of Ohio and Florida.
Mr. Obama’s more than three-to-one edge in exit polls among the 5 percent of voters who identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual was more than enough to give him the ultimate advantage, according to the study, by Gary J. Gates of the Williams Institute at the U.C.L.A. School of Law, in conjunction with Gallup. The results are consistent with earlier research on the number and political beliefs of gay voters.
Democrats have been winning big over Republicans among gay voters, African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and Jews. Some of the groups are relatively small, but together they make up about one-third of the electorate, forcing Republicans to capture much of the remaining two-thirds to win elections. By comparison, white evangelical voters, who vote overwhelmingly for Republicans, make up about one-fourth of the electorate, and their numbers are not growing as rapidly.
As with Latinos and Asian-Americans, the number of voters who say they are gay appears to be growing. Only 1.9 percent of Americans over 65 call themselves gay, lesbian or bisexual, according to the Gallup survey, while 3.2 percent of those between 30 and 49, and 6.4 percent of those between 18 and 29 do.
“In the younger population, there is a much wider range in the geography and ethnicity of those who are identifying as L.G.B.T.,” Dr. Gates said, using a common term for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. That range now extends well beyond major cities and into multiple swing states.
As Republicans plan to reach out to Hispanics and Asian-Americans, another question is whether they would also help themselves by improving their standing among gay voters. Some analysts say Republicans should try to do so, in part to win over moderate straight voters, while others see any such effort as having more risk than upside.
Research by Patrick J. Egan, a professor of politics and public policy at New York University, suggests that gay voters may prove difficult to bring into the Republican tent. Many of them “aren’t swingable because they have liberal positions on a whole bunch of issues besides gay rights,” Dr. Egan said.
Exit polls showed that 76 percent of voters who identified as gay supported Mr. Obama last week, and that 22 percent supported Mr. Romney. Among straight people, each candidate received 49 percent of the vote.
If Republican candidates move to the center on gay rights, they might also risk losing support among cultural conservatives.
“I think it would be a mistake for the party to abandon its moral values,” said J. Hogan Gidley, the national communications director for Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential run. Instead, Mr. Gidley said, the Republican Party’s low levels of support among gay voters can be outweighed by better messaging to other voters, particularly about same-sex marriage.
“We’ve lost the buzzword battle,” Mr. Gidley said, “that marriage is a ‘right.’ ”
Other Republican strategists, however, say that their party’s stances on social issues like marriage are alienating straight voters, too.
- [quote]“I think it would be a mistake for the party to abandon its moral values,” said J. Hogan Gidley, the national communications director for Rick Santorum’s 2012 presidential run.
Isn't Gidley a closet case?
- I would like to see the gay vote results detailed by race and sex. Because I suspect that the white male gay votes were closer to 50/50, possibly even worse.
- Miss Gidley.
He's probably fucking Santorum.
- R2, not even.
- R2 Keep looking for those white devils. LOL
- Some real shitty faggots in the photo accompanying that article
- Did you people even consider the fact that Mitt glittered under his suits?
- Ironically all the Clinton's fear of supporting Gay Americans, leading to their legacy of anti-gay legislation DADT and DOMA, Obama took the jump and it saved him. It doesn't make up for the Clinton's or the Democratic Party, but it does for Obama personally.
20 years from now, this will be Obama's legacy. He will become like the Abraham Lincoln for Gay Americans.
- r2 = NOM paid troll.
White as wheaties, picking up a couple extra bucks trolling from his mother's basement in Utah or Oklahoma.
- r8, are you really comparing Lincoln's setting slaves free with Obama's good works for the gay community? Are you really saying the plight of slaves in the 1800s is comparable to that of present-day gay people? I'm a gay, black man, I find that insulting on so many fronts.
I find it astounding-- and infuriating, for that matter-- that somehow slightly more than 1-in-5 gay voters backed romney. who ARE these people?!
- R10, get over yourself. Making some comparisons is not in any way making equivalences. People like you annoy the living FUCK out of me. Get over yourself, and stop setting up strawmen like that.
- Overall, LGBT voters are among the most faithful supporters of the Democratic party -- not so lopsidedly as African Americans, but on a par with Jews, Latinos, and Asians. I was glad to see Nate Silver bringing out the statistics here. It doesn't surprise me to see a smallish minority of gays nonetheless supporting the GOP; such minorities can be found in almost any bloc of voters.
- R10 as a strategic comparison of how Presidents, who are first to genuinely stand up for civil rights and now that then, becomes their legacy, it is a valid comparison.
However, from the tone of your statement, you have some serious anger issues to deal with there. Lets call you, very distant and far secondly, a Gay American.
- Stop being so pedantic, r10. While I don't entirely agree with the point r8 was making, he wasn't comparing the plight of gays to slavery. He was comparing presidents who fought for a disenfranchised group's civil rights and right to full personhood.
- R10/GBM - I completely understand your reaction. Perhaps the comparison (it wasn't mind) was that they were both very brave stands to take at their time and not actually compare what the two groups were going through. I might suggest also that Lyndon Johnson should be included here. And I'm not sure that Obama has quite yet earned it. His statement was brave and I believe set an important example, but I believe his actions need to go a bit further before he really can be fully credited.
- Get a life, R9.
- It was the 10% black vote that pushed him over the edge. Despite all the other groups Obama had, if the normal 10% of black voters that vote Republican had voted Republican he would have lost.
It's the racism of blacks, who will vote in a black candidate for any reason (think Jesse Jackson's kid) that won Obama the election.
As long as the Dems keep nominating light skinned minorities they will win.
- Yes, R18, those awful black racists, voting for their own best interests.
Good thing poor whites are smarter than that!
- So sorry but any gay that voted for Romney , is racist . No other explanation to vote for someone who thinks you are less than human
- [quote]Yes, R 18, those awful black racists, voting for their own best interests.
Best interest? Black unemployment = 18%.
- This election proved many things, and I'm so glad that it proved that the posters shrieking about how all gays are secretly racist Republicans were dead wrong. They've shut up for now but I assume they'll be back...
When they show up again, they need to be reminded to shriek that Californians, 18 to 30 year olds, Latinos, and New Yorkers are all secret closet Republicans, too, since those demographics all voted Republican in far greater percentages.
It's a brand of DL idiot I find really irksome, and I'm so glad they've been shut up for a time.
- There are so many groups who could claim their support is what put Obama over the top: women, single women, women of color, blacks, Asians, Latinos, gays, young people, etc, etc, etc.
Thank God for all of those coalitions.
- [quote]It's the racism of blacks, who will vote in a black candidate for any reason (think Jesse Jackson's kid) that won Obama the election.
It must be racism and not that the Republican nominee called them takers and he wouldn't be their president.
Keep looking for anything to blame other than Republican policies. The party that demands accountability of others has none for itself.
- What R23 said!
- "It's the racism of blacks, who will vote in a black candidate for any reason (think Jesse Jackson's kid) that won Obama the election"
Yeah, remember when black people rushed out to vote for Lynn Swann in PA and Michael Steele in Maryland? Oh, wait, that didn't happen. They lost big time. But how about all those racist white people who only voted for Romney because he's white?
"Black unemployment = 18%."
It would be worse under Romney. How would Romney help black people? By giving tax cuts to rich whites?
- Once again, Obama's lavish gifts to the gays brought out the vote...