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.