Main | Friday, November 16, 2012

NYT Backs "Gays Won It" Meme

On Tuesday the Human Rights Campaign sent out a stats-laden press release claiming that the LGBT vote provided the winning margin for President Obama. Yesterday the New York Times appeared to agree.
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.
Commenters on the Times article are split on the idea. One writes:
While this trend certainly helps in the popular vote, does it translate into additional electoral votes? LGBT voters can found throughout the nation, but my guess is that migration (self-deportation???) out of red states to blue states means that the advantage identified in the article results only larger winning margins in states that would have gone for the Democratic candidate regardless: Overwhelming support by LGBT voters in California and New York doesn't get a candidate more electoral votes.

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