Alex Blaze

Obama 60-14 among LGBT voters

Filed By Alex Blaze | July 24, 2008 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: Barack Obama, Harris Interactive, John McCain, LGBT, politics, polling, president

Obama's not doing too badly among LGBT adults:

Among LGBT adults, 60 percent favor Obama while 14 percent favor McCain.

Three percent of LGBT adults favor Barr, while 1 percent choose Nader. Six percent choose "other," while 17 percent of all LGBT voters are not yet sure which candidate to support -- comparable to the general population.

We can joke all we want about that 14%, but Obama's beating McCain four to one among LGBT people who've decided who they like.

Room for improvement, but not all that bad at all, considering that John Kerry won LGB people 77-23 in exit polls in 2004.

Sure, John McCain just plain doesn't like LGBT people (from TowleRoad):

This is a man who doesn't even know what the acronym LGBT stands for.

He also doesn't really believe in gay adoption, supports a ban on gays in the military, is worried if his clothing looks too gay, isn't sure if condoms stop the spread of HIV, thinks same-sex marriage ceremonies are okay as long as they're just pretend, and has promised right-wing religious groups that he'll start speaking out more vocally against LGBT causes.

But being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or trans is an identity that a person generally takes on after other identities along the lines of race, class, ethnicity, and sex have been learned. Every now and then a Black LGBT person will rankle the white LGBT community by saying that she is Black first, queer second, but I know more than a handful of white LGBT folks who thing the same way about their race. They just don't articulate it because they see their race as the norm, their culture as ubiquitous, and racism as nonexistent.

The same thing's happening in this poll; there are plenty of LGBT Americans who are rich, racist, scared shitless of Muslims, sexist, or hawkish first and LGBT second. The fact that we overwhelmingly support the Democratic candidate for president over McCain speaks to the fact that LGBT identity is an important factor in voting behavior, but in no way is the gateway to determining how someone will vote nor is the only part of our lives that's important.

And, yes, this poll is Harris Interactive, not The Harris Poll, and it's polling LGBT people, whatever that means, so a grain of salt is required.


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inkpeninmd | July 24, 2008 1:55 PM

14 % seems about right. The checkbook comes first and everything else is secondary. The 10% that votes Green, Libertarian, or whatever makes sense too. They're the ones who eschew "identity politics." G_d love 'em, Don Quixote still rides.

The 60%, well your guess is as good as mine concerning what makes them tick. The good thing is that it does not really matter. They send their kids to public school, look to the fire department to put out the fire in the stove, and generally don't want the kid down the street going to school hungry. They still sorta trust social security, and don't understand farm subsidies nor do they really care as long as bread, eggs, and milk are relatively cheap. They or their forebears voted Democrat before the party became sorta gay friendly. They will vote Democrat for the foreseeable future. I'm a green / socialist who votes Democrat because the other isn't going to happen in my lifetime with or without my vote.

It's the 17% I don't get. What planet have they been on for the last 10 or so months? This isn't rocket science folks. It's either corporate empire or consumer protection. Is there some arcane federal policy that they're waiting for McCain or Obama to weigh in on? Most people don't care about a nuanced view on the PPI or ethanol policy. Picking up a newspaper or reading a blog isn't that difficult. If they're not interested or motivated enough to engage in the process by simply being informed, I hope they stay home on election day.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | July 25, 2008 12:17 AM

17% is a low figure and is remarkably better than the 95% of Gays who would not be seen in my company at Purdue in 1972.

"Please don't speak to me on campus, my dorm, my frat, my sorority, my ROTC scholarship, my church,my mommie!"

The point is that they have been victims in some other way we may not necessarily know. They could be small business owners in isolated communities. They could be cowed by religious guilt or family responsibilities. I don't believe it is just a rich poor divide. I think it could just as easily be those who believe in their own entitlement and those who do not. Sad waste of a life.

inkpeninmd | July 25, 2008 1:37 AM

I take your point with regard to high school/college kids. You pretty much expect them to be confused/scared and "figuring things out."

It is the adults I'm running short on patience with. That small business owner in the isolated town: if she/he is bright enough to make a successful go at running a business you would think there would be enough thought power there to make a decision. The guy who goes for a quickie at the truck stop then votes Republican out of guilt and self loathing has at least made a choice. I can respect someone who makes a choice I disagree with, it's the ones who don't put in the effort to make a choice that turn my hair grey.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 25, 2008 5:46 AM

Savvy voters know that the twin party elections are a fraud that won't solve any of our problems. For us, the choice is clear - vote for any of the US Labor Party candidates who make it past the hurdles or use your vote to lodge a protest by voting for socialist or communist candidates. Make sure to vote against anti-GLBT referenda like Prop. 8 in California – that does matter, unlike the question of which bozo gets the Oval Office. Most voters in most elections just sit it out. They’re my kind of people - the slackers who don't go to mass on Sunday and who ask the chumps masquerading as manager "What do you mean, I have to?”

The largest party in America, by the way, is neither the Democrats nor the Republicans. It's the party of non-voters. Robert Reich

Whatever you do, don't waste your vote on frauds and charlatans like McCain or Obama. They jointly trashed ENDA and the hate crimes bill and retained DOMA and DADT. They're for the war and their pro-ruling rich politics have sent our standard of living careening off the cliff. Like all reactionaries they support NAFTA and oppose socialized medicine. They voted to trash the Fourth Amendment and they both pander to religious bigots. They’re right wingers and so are their parties.

"[t]here is only one party in the United States, the Property Party...and it has two right wings: Republican and Democrat. Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt—until recently... and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, the black, the anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties." Gore Vidal

John McCain is George Bush (the War) in drag with the Rev. Pat Robertson attached at the hip.

Barak Obama is Bill Clinton (DOMA, DADT, NAFTA) in drag with the Rev. Donnie McClurkin attached at the hip.

I wasn't saying it was a rich/poor divide, per se, but that that might be one reason some gays are Republican. In fact, considering the few gay Republicans that I know, it's one of the big reasons.

That 17% is about the same as the population in general. I know we should probably be doing better since our identities are inherently politicized, but in the end I don't think we're much smarter than the average heterosexual.

Bill, you post stuff like that all the time. I don't think what you're saying is wrong in any factual way, but what's the hope? What can we do? Voting third party? Will that really change things?

Okay - you are driving me nuts with this Alex.

Harris Interactive is owned by the Harris Poll. It is their online arm. I participate in some of their polls and it says so at the bottom of each survey and e-mails asking you to participate.

Um, yeah, that's just what I was saying, it's an online poll, not a phone poll. It's not a question of who owns the website.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 25, 2008 11:35 AM

Alex, there are three questions involved.

The first is that voting for your enemies, even if they’re clever liars, is a proven dead end. You end up getting more of the same old, same old; war, unchecked bigotry, and now a bigger economic crisis than anyone has seen in generations is escalating. What’s the point of voting for that? In most elections a good half of the electorate see no point at all.

The second question is that elections in the two party system are essentially rigged with third parties are effectively excluded. That will be so until the situation ripens to the extent that socialist, radical and communist groups become massive. It’s happened before, it’ll happen again. Even then electoral activity is only useful as an organizing tool to build and educate mass movements for change. By itself, it will not lead to the kind of fundamental changes we’ll need to survive.

Third, it’s those mass movements for equality, economic democracy, socialized medicine, union organization of immigrant and imported workers and against genocide and bigotry that are the key to fundament change, change from the roots on up. There’s a growing inclination among the developing leaders in all these movements to recognize the futility of electoral politics, to refuse to take no for an answer, and to intends to fight for cutting edge demands – ideas that are perfectly reasonable to us but anathema to the ruling rich and their flag waving toadies.