In past posts and comments, I have suggested that this blog better represents gay Republicans than does Log Cabin. To defend this claim, I pointed out that while both Bruce and I voted for President Bush last fall just as did a supermajority of gay Republicans. And like most gay Republicans, despite occasional disagreements with the president, we generally support him. In contrast not only did Log Cabin refuse to endorse the president, but its president Patrick Guerriero attacked him just three weeks before the election. After the election, Patrick even refused to indicate who he voted for. He has barely uttered a word of praise since.
I have claimed that perhaps more than 90% of gay Republicans voted for the President last fall based on exit polling which showed that 23% of gay people voted for the president last fall. Given that polls showed that 25% of gay people voted for Bush in 2000, I figured that 92% of gay Republicans picked the president again.
As some of my critics have noted in the comments, that since not all gay Republicans supported W in the 2000 election, I was wrong about that 90% figure (for 2004). So, I did a few google searches to see if I could find the exact figure, but have so far been unable to find a single poll showing how gay Republicans voted in past presidential elections.
Without such a poll, we’ll have to look at the numbers that we have so as best to extrapolate the gay Republican vote in 2004. Given there were no indications of any major defections from the GOP in 2000 (when Log Cabin endorsed Bush), we’ll assume that that year, the president got the same percentage of the gay Republican vote as he did of the Republican vote. The lowest percentage I could find for the Bush’s share of the Republican vote in 2000 was 91.
Now, some of our critics cite an exil poll showing that the president won just 17% of the gay vote in 2004. If we average the two exit polls numbers (17 & 23), we get 20. For now, we’ll go with this average (even as I believe the higher exit-poll number is more accurate). 20 is 80% of 25 (the president’s 2000 share of the gay vote). If we assume that the president lost the same number of votes from gay Republicans as he did from gay Independents and Democrats, he would have won 72.8% of the gay Republican vote (80% x 91%). (Given that more Republicans would have stayed with their party’s man than non-Republicans, this likely underepresents the number of Republcans who voted for W in 2004. Lacking any better numbers (for now), we’ll go with this.)
Thus, in last fall’s presidential election, roughly three out of four gay Republican joined your humble bloggers in voting for the president while slightly more than one in four went with Log Cabin. (And this using a method which is more likely to underrepresent the president’s share of the gay GOP vote.) Seems we better represent gay Republicans than does Log Cabin.
Even if we go with the lower figure (17%) for the president’s share of the gay vote in 2004, he still retained 61.88% of the gay Republican vote. (If we go with the higher figure, he would have won 83.72% of the gay Republican vote, meaning I erred in saying the president got 90% of the gay GOP vote in 2004.) Thus, even if we give our critics every benefit of the doubt, over 60% of gay Republicans voted for the man supported by this blog and not endorsed by Log Cabin.
It’s not just that. Unlike Log Cabin, we didn’t assume (before the election) that the president’s stand on the FMA would cause most gay Republicans to vote against him. In a post ten days after last fall’s election, I noted that Log Cabin’s then-Political Director Chris Barron had forecast (one week before the election) that gay support for the president “is likely to be in the single digits.”
(While, after the election, Patrick said that he “predicted that Bush could get as much as 30 percent of the gay vote in the middle of a war on terrorism,” I could find no article prior to the election to substantiate this claim.)
It’s not just the fact that like us, a supermajority of gay Republicans voted for the president last fall, that makes us believe we better represent gay Republicans than does Log Cabin. It’s also that we recognize that most gay Republicans don’t just vote on gay issues, that these, while important to use, are not our primary political focus. And like nearly every gay Republican I talk to, we are skeptical (if not outright critical) of most national gay organizations, especially HRC and NGLTF, and are concerned that because they lean to the left, the gay media do not accurately portray our community.
If Log Cabin is to represent gay Republicans (which, to be fair to them, may not be their goal), they need to defend our Republican president more frequently and distance themselves more regularly from mainstream gay groups. They need to adopt the language and ideas of the conservative movement and develop policies to address gay concerns based on those ideas. And dare to question (in public debate) whether the policy proposals put forth by the left-leaning gay groups are consistent with conservative and libertarian principles.
But so long as its leaders claim it is “first and foremost a gay organization with a role to play inside the Republican Party,” Log Cabin will speak only for that limited number of gay Republican who wish to be allied with the gay left and not speak for the great majority of gay Republicans who take a more conservative approach to public policy.
-Dan (AKA GayPatriotWest): GayPatriotWest@aol.com