Saturday, November 6, 2010

GOP Gains Amongst Gay Voters

According to a FOX News national exit poll, 31% of gay voters pulled the lever for Republican candidates in Tuesday's mid-term election.

That is up from a total of 19% in the 2008 elections.

When you consider that this election revolved around the economy it should come as no surprise Republicans would improve their performance amongst nearly every constituency in the country.

Gay rights activists have also been disappointed with the Obama Administration and the Democratic Congress over the failure to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" and DOMA as well as over federal AIDS funding. The fact that there were no major ballot initiatives on gay marriage also probably helped matters.

Over the years, I have come across a number of gay people who sympathize with the GOP on economic and foreign policy matters. But what turned them off was their stance on social issues. It's understandable. Why would anyone for a candidate who tells them that they are immoral or irresponsible? If Carl Palladino had just stuck to talking about the economy the gubernatorial race in New York would have been far more competitive.

It will be interesting to see how Republicans do with gay voters over the next two decades. If you were born after 1980 chances are you are going to be more sympathetic to gay rights than if you were born after 1960 and certainly after 1940. While it might be a stretch to argue that a majority of gay voters will support Republicans in twenty years time I do believe that by 2030 the opposition to gay marriage within the GOP will have been marginalized.

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