The study this spring by San Francisco-based Community Marketing Inc. found that an eye-popping 92.5% of gay men reported that they voted in the 2004 presidential race, and almost 84% said they cast ballots in the 2006 midterm election. Among lesbians, the results were almost as impressive; nearly 91% said they voted in 2004; for the midterm, the figure was 78%.
By comparison, the Washington-based Committee for the Study of the American Electorate put the turnout for all Americans eligible to vote at about 61% in 2004 and roughly 40% in 2006.
Consider that last statistic for a moment--when matched with the findings by Community Marketing for the '06 contest, the bottom line is a turnout rate among gay men more than twice that for the nation's voters as a whole.
I consider this significant and a little surprising. After all, historically, minority groups that are affected by the lack of recognition by government and the political system vote in lower numbers than the general population. This information warrants the attention of the Political Parties and the Presidential candidates, especially in advance of tonight's Presidential Forum.
Combined with the growing minority population that I referenced in my previous post, candidates are going to have to campaign and court voters in different ways than they ever have before.