From The New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/us/politics/gay-vote-seen-as-crucial-in-obamas-victory.html
By MICAH COHEN
Published: November 15, 2012
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.
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. Some analysts say Republicans should try to do so, in part to win over moderate straight voters, while others see any such effort as having more risk than upside.
Research by Patrick J. Egan, a professor of politics and public policy at New York University, suggests that gay voters may prove difficult to bring into the Republican tent. Many of them “aren’t swingable because they have liberal positions on a whole bunch of issues besides gay rights,” Dr. Egan said.
Continue reading at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/16/us/politics/gay-vote-seen-as-crucial-in-obamas-victory.html