If Democratic candidates are counting on long-standing support from gay voters to help stave off big losses on Nov. 2, they could be in for a surprise.
Across the country, activists say gay voters are angry — at the lack of progress on issues from eliminating employment discrimination to uncertainty over serving in the military to the economy — and some are choosing to sit out this election or look for other candidates.
President Barack Obama's hometown of Chicago, with its large, politically and socially active gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, offers a snapshot of what some are calling the "enthusiasm gap" between voters who came out strong for Obama and other Democrats in 2008 and re-energized Republican base voters, including tea party enthusiasts who say they are primed to storm the polls.
...or you choose to realize that forfeiting your vote is pointless cynicism that plays into the hands of the GOP.
The message behind a short-lived but highly publicized ad was clear: Latinos, stay home.
Voter suppression isn’t usually marketed as voter empowerment. But in the ad by Latinos for Reform, an independent campaigning group led by career conservative Robert de Posada, the paradox was presented as plain sense: Because the Democrats haven’t delivered on immigration, exercise your right to vote by not doing so.
It’s advice that, if followed in Nevada, would all but assuredly play to the benefit of the GOP, which has seen Hispanics move away from the Republican Party as they grow in the state electorate.
But the fever-pitch backlash to this advertisement suggests the message could bring about just the opposite effect, by energizing a Hispanic voting bloc that may have been lethargic with a new and compelling reason to get out and vote — by and large, for Democrats.
If you don't vote, if you refuse to participate in order to punish one party, then you have no right to complain when the other party takes control and works to eliminate your rights even more.