2012 Election: The LGBT vote matters
According to a new poll conducted by Harris Interactive for Logo TV, all political candidates could greatly benefit by supporting equal rights for LGBT Americans. The survey, conducted earlier this month, polled close to 3000 people, comparing the political leanings of general population likely voters with those of self-identified LGBT voters and indicates that we may have reached a watershed moment for gay rights, confirming what many Americans have already sensed.
Much like the general populace, LGBT voters care about the economy, unemployment, and healthcare. However, the study also indicates that Americans in general consider a candidate’s position on gay rights as highly persuasive when it comes time to enter the voting booth. When asked whether they would be “more likely,” “less likely,” or “no difference,” 49 percent indicated they would be “more likely” to vote for a candidate who supports legislation to combat anti-gay bullying and 48 percent favored a candidate who supports including gays and lesbians as a protected class in the workplace.
According to the survey, both LGBT and general population voters as a whole currently favor Barack Obama, yet 1-in-5 would cast a ballot for Mitt Romney if he held the same views as Obama on gay rights. Moreover, 1-in-4 would consider voting for other Republican candidates if the GOP held the same positions on LGBT rights as the Democratic Party. Said Kenneth Sherrill, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Hunter College, “This survey documents a political transformation of epic proportions. LGBT rights are no longer a wedge issue in American politics.”