Gay Voters in 2010

I receive at least an email a month (sometimes more) from somebody asking how I can be gay and Republican at the same time.  Other times, I receive an email from a gay or lesbian individual who is shocked that others, like them, actually exist. Usually the person copies the other moderators on this site (so they know what I am talking about).  You would have to research back to this blog’s early days or scroll through other seemingly-unrelated posts that delved into the subject in order to rehash all the reasons.  Suffice it to say – this is a question that I will always be asked and a discussion that will never end to everyone’s satisfaction.

But the tide is turning, my friends.  When I read this news piece from Politico, I was pleasantly shocked.  “Shocked” doesn’t really begin to describe it.  I almost feel the onset of vindication.

More self-identified gay voters chose the GOP in the midterm elections than in previously recorded totals, according to a CNN exit poll.

Thirty-one percent of self-identified gay voters cast their ballots for Republicans on Tuesday, 4 percentage points more than in 2008, according to a similar CNN exit poll.

Put that into perspective.  Nearly one-third of gay voters went GOP this time around.  That’s 31% of “self-identified” gay voters.  Imagine how many closeted gay voters probably filled in a bubble or clicked a button for the GOP.  CNN.com tried to downplay the sample size, but the numbers clearly show growth.

“The gay left would have you believe that gay conservatives don’t exist,” said GOProud Executive Director Jimmy LaSalvia. “Now we see that almost a third of self-identified gay voters cast ballots for Republican candidates for Congress in this year’s midterm.”

“This should be a wake-up call for the out-of-touch so-called leadership of Gay Inc. in Washington, D.C., which has become little more than a subsidiary of the Democrat Party,” he said in a statement.

Yes.  We exist in numbers that the gay left wouldn’t believe (or at least – admit to).  I always say that the gay community is more diverse than people realize.  The other possibility at play here is that gay Americans are beginning to realize that the US public is more accepting than ever before.  The rights of gay and lesbian Americans are guaranteed in this nation to an extent never before known in our nation’s history. 

I won’t begrudge gay civil rights groups their due in this historic progression.  Gay rights groups affected change over the past few decades just as labor unions did for workers in the earlier part of this century.  But their partners in the Democrat party began to take them forgranted as a dependable voting constituency.  Democrat policy has become nothing more than lip-service in recent years.  Change at the social level accounts for so much more these days.

Given that, we all know that the 2010 elections were primarily abount one issue – the economy.  Gay Americans like all other Americans were asked to decide who would do the best job of turning things around.  They were asked to consider whether the policies of Obama, Pelosi and Reid were making things better or making them worse.  Like a majority of Americans, a significant portion of gay and lesbian voters likely decided that the GOP had a better probability of turning things around.

I’m not a professional pollster, and I don’t have all the data at my fingertips.  So some of my analysis is a matter of reading into gay and lesbian intentions based on the mood of the general populace.  But after all – we are all part of the general populace.  And more of our community appears to be realizing that the concerns of American voters as a whole directly coincide with their own.  It’s not “us versus them ” anymore.  We’re all in this together.

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11 thoughts on “Gay Voters in 2010

  1. This is great news. I would be curious to know which election races these polls were taken. I don’t know of too many gay people who would vote for an avowd virulent anti-gay politician no matter how awful the Democrat candidate is. But a Republican with more moderate views on gay rights could curry votes.

    Voting patterns aside, there are all sorts of gay folks. It’s hard to discern what someone is like based on how they vote. trick. So I voted against it because it would not keep one beach or park open.

  2. Always wondered how people can just assume one group is going to vote or think one way. I mean, there are a lot of heterosexuals and I don’t hear anyone talking like they all vote the same way! I think if Conservative candidates and politicians could concentrate on things that matter (the economy, jobs, crime, protecting the nation and securing our borders) most to everyone and stay away from social issues, they would fare better. It’s tough when you like a politician for some views but others are just a turn off.
    Vote Anarchy! It’s Better Than No Government At All!
    AndyB, NH.

  3. It’s going to be tricky to avoid social issues all together. I was amazed how much the tea party folks emphasized that they were not focused on social issues. Once the economic issues are addressed and the social issues come into play, it will be interesting to see if this GOP coalition elected last Tuesday is a fragile coalition that will melt away. I certainly hope not.

    In my opinion, there are enough commonalities to hold us together – even when we must broach those issues that might be divisive (you can’t avoid the social issues forever). The moderates were big losers on Tuesday, so that gives me hope that we can hold together.

  4. “Always wondered how people can just assume one group is going to vote or think one way.”

    I remember the days of President Reagan, Jesse Helms and William Dannemeyer. The gay world had a very strong incentive to vote Democrat. Helms and Dannemeyer were full blown homophobes of the worst kind.

    President Reagan was blamed heavily for the government’s weak response to the AIDS epidemic. But, no sitting President would have jumped on an epidemic that was killing gays, drug addicts and other “fringe” groups. After all, Haitian immigrants can’t vote and hemophilliacs don’t make up a huge block of voters either. Anyone remember those days? AIDS killed gays, drug addicts, Haitians, and hemophilliacs? Those were the four high risk groups? Boy do I remember those days. Anyone remember this joke:

    What’s the hardest part of telling your parents you have AIDS?

    Convincing them your are Haitian.

    I can’t blame President Regan all that much because if President Carter were re-elected he would have taken little action. It wasn’t popular in those days (the very early 1980’s) to embrace anything that came near sanctioning gay folk. Back then, the general public didn’t care about AIDS because it was thought of as a gay disease and hence no threat to straight people. Help gay people? No way.

    But the die was cast and it turned out to be snake eyes for the Republican party. But while the Democrats could gloat about votes they too found themsleves in a conundrum that has come back to bite them. Voters demand action and continued loyalty demands continued action. When AIDS was raging front page news, more funding was enough to placate most gays. That was a big enough bone to chew on and it was needed. But as the epidemic faded into media oblivion demands changed.

    Now we have same sex marriage and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Hungry gay voters demand payback and the Democrats can’t deliver. The Democrats promise much, deliver very little if anything and now I believe more than a handful of gay voters have had enough.

    The Republicans do have one thing going for them – consistency when it comes to gays. I’ve never ever seen a Republican politician promise me anything and fail to deliver when it comes to gay issues. That is honesty. That beats being lied too. One can trust honest people. Liars can never be trusted.

  5. “It’s going to be tricky to avoid social issues all together. I was amazed how much the tea party folks emphasized that they were not focused on social issues.”

    I think the Tea Party people are in for a rude reckoning on spending cuts. When it comes to discretionary spending, defense and entitlements make up an enourmous share of the Federal Budget. We can’t balance this budget by eliminating welfare. That won’t even make a dent. Cut Social Security and Medicare? That will never win broad based support. Cut Defense spending? That can make a dent but that won’t balance the budget either.

    I hate to burst the Tea Party bag but they can’t have it both ways. Spending cuts on entitlement programs means real pain to real people. It will be interesting to see how this all goes.

  6. I’d almost forgotten about Helms but I don’t remember Dannemeyer at all (getting old). The fact too that so little was known about AIDS and less was known by the public. When anything leaves the news cycle people assume it is fixed and forget about it (anyone remember Haiti? What happened to all the concerts for famine relief and helping farmers?). I can’t remember the last AIDS story in this country.
    At least you know where you stand instead of being led on with promises. I just wish politicians in general were more moderate on social issues. As a Christian it’s my responsibility to do what I can to help my fellow man (woman, dog, etc) but I don’t feel laws need to be passed to compel that and I feel the same way (in general) about social issues.
    I don’t know. Just elect me Dictator-for-Eternity and everything will be alright. Trust me:-)
    AndyB, NH.

  7. “I don’t know. Just elect me Dictator-for-Eternity and everything will be alright. Trust me:-)”
    AndyB, NH.

    That works. You’ve got my vote. If we lived on the same side of the US I’d buy you a beer.

    William Dannemeyer was an Orange County, CA congressman. He was a very virulent homophobe in the worst way. I don’ think anyone in the House was more openly homophobic than him. He never caught on like Jesse Helms. That was a good thing.

  8. Whenever the old “you can’t be both gay and conservative” argument comes up, I have my tried-and-true arguments, and as time goes on I find many more. I’ll post a little on it later, because I’m currently indisposed to a long-winded comment or any post at all, but I grow tired of having to explain to brainless, zombified gay liberals exactly why I am politically conservative.

  9. If Republicans laid off the social issues and took moderate and respectful stances, I am confident that they can gain votes from gays and non-Christians. As a gay from California, I was going to vote for Meg Whitman, but I could not because of her stance on gay marriage. I feel this issue is discriminating against me, thus I would never vote for such a candidate. I’m pretty sure she would have won if she supported gay marriage.

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