GOP: Gay Old Party? More gays voted Republican
than in 2008
[rquoter]By Jonathan Capehart
If you want more data that gay men and lesbians are pretty much just like everyone else -- worried about the economy, freaked out about the direction of the country and perhaps ticked at the slow pace of change with regard to their civil rights -- get a load of this exit poll result.
Gay men, lesbians and bisexuals who self-identified to exit pollsters made up 3 percent of those casting ballots in House races on Tuesday, and 31 percent of them voted Republican.
By itself, that number is amazing, especially when you consider that way too many people think being gay and voting Democratic are one in the same. But that percentage is ominous news for a White House viewed with suspicion by many gay men and lesbians, because that's four percentage points higher than the change election of 2008.
Self-identified gays have been slowly sidling up to the GOP for a while now. In the 2008 presidential race, they made up four percent of the vote and gave 27 percent of their votes to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) against then-Sen. Barack Obama. In the 2006 midterm elections, when the House and Senate flipped to Democratic control, gays made up three percent of the electorate with the Republicans snagging 24 percent of their ballots. And in the 2004 presidential elections, President George W. Bush got 23 percent of the gay vote. They comprised four percent of those polled.
Jimmy LaSalvia, Executive Director of the gay conservative group GOProud, is heralding the uptick in votes from gay men, lesbians and bisexuals for Republicans.
"The gay left would have you believe that gay conservatives don't exist. Now we see that almost a third of self-identified gay voters cast ballots for Republican candidates for Congress in this year's midterm," continued LaSalvia. "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."
But Post polling director Jon Cohen urged caution when interpreting the exit polls. "[Be] *careful* of extremely low sample sizes," he wrote to me in an e-mail. "Given the way the exit poll was divided into smaller parts, only 126 voters interviewed nationwide described themselves as gay. Sampling error margin is about + or - at least nine points for this group of voters." That should put a damper on LaSalvia's end-zone dancing. But the overall trend and the message it sends should not be ignored by Democrats.
Update, 4:55 p.m.: A previous version of this post did not make it clear that the gay men, lesbians and bisexuals surveyed by exit pollsters self-identified as such. The text above now reflects this.