Saturday, November 17, 2007

Gay demographics could reshape electoral landscape - Opinion -

Gay demographics could reshape electoral landscape - Opinion - "If it's no surprise that Americans are becoming more comfortable living among openly gay men and lesbians, the Census data do pack a wallop that politicians ignore at their peril. Since 1990, the number of self-identified same-sex couples in Mountain, Midwest and Southern states has averaged a sixfold increase. Compare that with the more liberal East and West Coasts, where increases have been less than fourfold. Mountain states such as New Mexico and Colorado now rate among the nation's 'gayest' states, ranking 2nd and 9th in the concentration of same-sex couples. Utah, where President Bush received more than 70% of the vote in 2004, has moved from 38th in 1990 to 14th in the most recent rankings. Red to 'purple' Political pundits say many of the Mountain states will be battlegrounds in 2008 as they transition from red to 'purple.' Small wonder, then, that Arizona recently became the first state to reject a voter referendum to limit marriage to male/female couples. More generally, changes in the number of same-sex couples might be a leading indicator of which historically red states are trending purple."