Analysis by Gallup and UCLA Law's Williams Institute suggests that the gay and lesbian vote for Obama was big enough to matter. That would certainly add to gay political clout if the belief takes hold that dominating the LGBT vote can prove decisive in national races. From the New York Times:
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.
Democrats have been winning big over Republicans among gay voters, African-Americans, Latinos, Asian-Americans and Jews. Some of the groups are relatively small, but together they make up about one-third of the electorate, forcing Republicans to capture much of the remaining two-thirds to win elections. By comparison, white evangelical voters, who vote overwhelmingly for Republicans, make up about one-fourth of the electorate, and their numbers are not growing as rapidly.
As with Latinos and Asian-Americans, the number of voters who say they are gay appears to be growing. Only 1.9 percent of Americans over 65 call themselves gay, lesbian or bisexual, according to the Gallup survey, while 3.2 percent of those between 30 and 49, and 6.4 percent of those between 18 and 29 do.
“In the younger population, there is a much wider range in the geography and ethnicity of those who are identifying as L.G.B.T.,” Dr. Gates said, using a common term for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. That range now extends well beyond major cities and into multiple swing states.
As Republicans plan to reach out to Hispanics and Asian-Americans, another question is whether they would also help themselves by improving their standing among gay voters.