Gays may be a more powerful political force than some would like to believe.
Gay non-profit Equality Forum recently released a study examining Philadelphia’s mayoral primary. Of the five largely gay-friendly candidates running in that primary, former councilman Michael Nutter lagged far behind in the fourth place. Until the primary that is, when he won with a hefty 36.6% of the votes. And, according to Equality Forum, he can thank the gays.
The Forum’s executive director Malcolm Lazin writes:
Equality Forum reviewed the votes cast in seven distinct Philadelphia gay neighborhoods and found that Nutter garnered 74% of the vote in these neighborhoods. A review of the top 12 Philadelphia tracts identified in the U.S. Census as having the most same-sex couples residing in the same household found that Nutter received 69% of the vote in these census tracts.
The study is important both in its methodology and the result. It demonstrates that even in a field of gay-friendly candidates, a candidate who can provide the right cues can be the beneficiary of a GLBT block vote. Block voting increases a group’s political importance and power.
Gay tactical voting, the Forum claims, can change the face of America. For the better, of course.
While Philadelphia provides a strong model for queer bloc voting, the Forum hopes similar studies will be done across the nation to drive the message home: gay voters matter.
Conservatives just shat themselves…