Are LGBT voters up for grabs in the election? Well no, not quite. But Jonathan Capehart points to a recent poll that shows two things: first, the LGBT voters care about the same issues everyone else does; second, that if the Republican party wasn’t so virulently anti-gay, they might have a shot at their votes on election day.
According to the poll, the top three issues of concern to the 1,367 U.S. voters surveyed online by Harris Interactive were the same top three issues for the 1,190 self-identified LGBT voters surveyed. They were “economic issues” (24 percent to 18 percent), “unemployment/jobs” (15 percent to 14 percent) and “health care” (12 percent for both). But there was another eye-opening result in this poll that is good news for the GOP. Yet, it’s news the GOP will ignore…
As you might imagine, among the gays, Obama-Biden (67 percent) trounced Romney-Ryan (23 percent). But that lock on the gay vote for the president and the Democratic Party isn’t as firm as you might think.
“If Mitt Romney held the same positions on issues related to gay rights as President Obama,” respondents were asked, “what would be the impact on your attitude towards voting for Mitt Romney?” Twenty-two (22) percent of LGBT voters said they would be “more likely to vote for Romney.”“If the Republican Party and the Democratic Party held the same position on gay rights,” respondents were asked, “how would that impact your attitude towards voting for Republican candidates?” Twenty-six (26) percent of LGBT voters indicated they would be “more likely to vote Republican.”
Basically, Obama-Biden would be fighting Romney-Ryan for the gay vote if the Republican ticket and its party were on the same progressive page as the president and the Democrats.
But if the GOP did change their positions, they would undoubtedly lose a good portion of the religious right base. And since there are a lot more religious right voters than there are gay voters, on balance they would probably end up on the losing end of the deal.