Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got roughly the same number of votes from straight voters on Nov. 6, so the claim could be made that it was the support of Americans who identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual that proved decisive in reelecting the president, The New York Times reported.
According to exit polls, 76 percent of voters who identified as gay supported Obama, and 22 percent supported Romney. Among straight people, those polls showed, each candidate received 49 percent of the vote.
Demographic trends would appear to create a rosy outlook for Democrats, The Times reported, citing the findings of a Gallup poll:
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.
Despite those findings, there are no indications yet that the Republican Party is willing to make a significant shift in its positions on divisive issues such as gay marriage.
The NYT quotes Hogan Gidley, the national communications director for Rick Santorum, as saying Republicans can overcome their low levels of support among gay voters by better messaging and outreach to other voters.
“I think it would be a mistake," Gidley said, "for the party to abandon its moral values.”