Saturday, October 18, 2008

Will this hold true once LGBT marriage becomes a norm?

Some good articles about which U.S. demographic groups tend to have which partisan leanings came out today. There wasn't anything earth-shattering or markedly different from the new Democratic electoral coalition whose shape has been emerging for years. But this stuff always appeals to my inner geek.

I noticed a theme that gave me pause.

The Women's Voice, Women's Vote Action Fund is clearly angling for more cash to send persuasion mail to unmarried women voters. They contend that this group is uniquely likely to respond to mail persuasion. Their chart above shows how much better Obama does among unmarried women than the married.

Meanwhile, a wide-ranging examination of electoral demographics in the National Journal points out the Democratic leanings of single people in general. Single status seems to overcome other factors, like being white or less educated, that often might suggest a Republican tendency. Some instances:

Democrats have run somewhat better among single white men. Clinton, with an assist from Perot, carried them both times. Kerry's 46 percent among that group in 2004 was the highest share for Democrats over the past 20 years, and Kerry actually ran even among white, single college-educated men. ...

Democrats carried white single women by double-digit margins in each of the past four elections; Republicans, meanwhile, carried white married women every time. ...

Single white women without a college education lean Democratic ...

On average, Republicans have run 13 percentage points better among married independents than among single ones since 1988.

What do you want to bet that some fairly significant fraction of these "single" people are actually gay? That's been the reality of many gays for decades. For most legal purposes, that's how the world has classified me for the last 28 years I've been with my partner.

And though there are some anomalous upper class white gay men who pride themselves on the eccentricity of identifying as Republicans, overwhelmingly LGBT people lean Democratic. Dems don't usually make common cause with fundamentalists who'd like to exorcise or "cure" us. Republicans do. I suspect we are even more likely to be Democrats than to be genuinely "single" -- though I don't know where to get the data to prove that.

So -- as more and more LGBT people leave the category of the ostensibly "single" for a socially sanctioned marriage status, it will be interesting to see whether the electoral leanings of single and married people come more to depend on other variables than whether people are in a recognized couple relationship. A part of the "marriage gap" might disappear. I am certain there will be some shifting of categories.

I like the idea of gay folks emerging into the light when we choose to. No on Prop. 8 in California is working to speed this transition.

Bonus: check out Ellen Degeneres making her personal pitch for preserving her option to marry.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

I wouldn't hazard a guess to your question.

I do, however, think that the alleged humanoids out there who against gay marriage are idiots. It was the decision of the majority that it was enacted and they need to just get over it. This a waste of tax payers' money. It smacks of when we were little kids and the losers whined until they got a "do over" so they could win.

BTW, did you see the video of McCain on "Ellen"? Priceless!!!

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