Michele Bachmann, The Gays and Florida

BachmannHand I recently wondered whether presidential candidates' anti-gay policies and rhetoric will one day become a campaign-sinking liability.

Michael Miller of the Miami New Times appears to agree, and hypothesizes in a new column that one of the reasons Michele Bachmann can't win ever-important Florida is because of her past statements on the gays:

South Florida is home to one of the nation's largest LGBT communities. Bachmann's habit of likening their sexual orientation to slavery or sickness won't win her many votes.

If that wasn't enough to write off the gay vote, Bachmann's husband is George Rekers all over again: an über-Christian who claims to know more about gays than they do. His "clinic," Bachmann & Associates, engages in controversial and possibly psychologically damaging pray-the-gay-away therapy. Marcus Bachmann is on tape calling gays "barbarians" who "need to be educated."

While anti-gay George W. Bush won the Sunshine State in both 2000 and 2004 — the former after the Supreme Court ruled in his favor –  gay-friendly Obama won in 2008 by a slim majority, which indicates that Miller's analysis could indeed become a reality in 2012.


  1. Allen says

    Anti-Gay Rhetoric didn’t hurt Rick Scott any. Florida (Broward, Miami-Dade, and Orlando) has big LGBT population … but the rest of the state is either Grumpy old retirees, red-neck yahoos or both! Florida is very much a red state when it comes to votes. Alot of the gay community is about as mobile and vocal as a rock. They have beaches and clubs and as long as they have that they don’t really care what the rest of the country does.

  2. joeblow says

    Yes but the creepy old homos in South Florida can’t be bothered to vote for/against anything they don’t see as a threat/benefit to their retirement incomes.

  3. Andrew says

    Unfortunately, Miller is completely wrong. The LGBT vote in South Florida is not part of the swing vote that decides elections in Florida, nor any other state. And Obama already showed us the roadmap for winning Florida and it has nothing to do with the LGBT vote but rather because of massive population growth around Orlando, overall Hispanic population growth and most likely shifts in the Cuban vote.

    And anyone else who wants to categorize LGBT voters as voters able to swing elections through voting alone would also be wrong. Maybe if we were swinging the election to a Republican, but we as a demographic bloc are probably second only to African-Americans in Democratic lean thus we are not swing voters and we do not swing elections through voting alone. Volunteering and donating, sure, but through just voting? Nope. And that’s why Democratic politicians only need to placate us.

  4. Ryan Stanford says

    I lived in South Florida for years and that is a different world than the rest of FL. The constitutional amendment banning gay marriage passed with over 70% at the same time Obama was winning by a hair. Gays are in FL for the beaches and fun not to get involved with their righs or politics.

  5. Jen says

    I live in St. Pete (near Tampa) and Andrew hit it right on the head. When Obama wins and at the same time Amendment 2 passes by such a large margin, it shows you that we aren’t an influential bloc here.

    If Bachmann doesn’t win here it’s not bc she doesn’t like teh gay, it’s bc the Tea Party is becoming visually more and more of a fringe group.

  6. walter says

    it is about time gays start caring because the right wing of the repuks hate us. goproud and lcr will sing “can you feel the love tonight all the while they help build the camps and it won’t be summer camps. bachmann’s bull is so bad she won’t even repeat it when challenged. the front runners on the right have made us an issue time to fight back.

  7. Bart says

    Bachmann won’t win not because of us but because she can’t speak off book, she is fringe right (thus why she did well in Iowa,) and she’s not very bright bordering on daffy. Bachmann will blow up her own chances of winning, we won’t have anything to do with it.

  8. Married in MA says

    I think the point of the article is not that the ‘gay vote’ will make the difference in Florida (or anywhere else), but that the general public may be put off by the anti-gay agenda of the Republican Party. We all know public opinion on LGBT issues is ‘evolving’ and it could make a difference in 2012.

  9. johnny says

    Bachmann is not really a serious contender for the nomination, so this is moot.

    Many republicans won’t say this, but secretly they know it’s foolish to switch horses in the middle of an economic meltdown/3 war-situations stream. They’re going to secretly vote for Obama because they’re too worried to switch regimes right now. It’s not a majority, but it’s enough votes to ensure Obama’s 2nd term.

  10. TampaZeke says

    As a Florida resident I’m blown away by the craziness of this fantasy and can’t believe that ANYONE who has ever lived in, or even been to, Florida would consider this as a possibility. It’s just bizarre.

    The idiot from South Florida has obviously never been outside of Wilton Manors. Florida passed Amendment 2 with SIXTY TWO PERCENT of the vote in the year that Obama won the state. NOT 52% but SIXTY TWO, 6 – 2 – % percent!

    NO candidate will be hurt in Florida (outside of Wilton Manors and PARTS of Ft. Lauderdale and Key West) by being rabidly anti-gay! If anything, being anti-gay is still a winner in the Sunshine State and if Obama wins the state again (which is just barely likely) it will be because of the Latino(a) community’s disgust with xenophobic Republicans and IN SPITE OF Obama’s somewhat pro-gay policies.

  11. TampaZeke says


    “Florida isn’t California!”

    Hell, CALIFORNIA isn’t even California! Florida is just barely above being Mississippi and that’s ONLY because Floridians are exposed to millions of non-Floridians every year whereas Mississippians seldom see, or speak to, anyone from out of state; unless they live in Oxford, Hattiesburg or Starkville where the universities are.

  12. anon says

    MB will do well in Iowa and then sink in NH, which the contest that really matters, as Mitt Romney knows. It’s true that SC killed John McCain’s first campaign, but only because he ignored the organizational requirements to win there. So, SC is the real Iowa now and it comes after NH.

  13. Codswallop says

    As much fun as it is to ridicule Michele Bachmann she has about as much a chance of getting the GOP nomination as Fred Karger, which is to say none.

    She’s just an easy target, a distraction while more viable candidates are building up their war chests and crafting their campaign rhetoric. The GOP isn’t going to go with a candidate that openly divisive. Like they did in the various Governors races during the mid-terms they’ll insist their ONLY concern is ‘the issues,’ the economy, jobs, etc. Like those governors it’ll only be AFTER (and if) that candidate is elected they’ll go after the ‘social issues’ like gays, the things they claimed during their campaigns was too far down their list of priorities to be worthy of their notice.

    Bachmann has flapped her yap far too many times to be the kind of “stealth” candidate the GOP needs and wants.

  14. DB says

    Of course, the gay vote is an extremely important swing vote and exit polls do show that both gay voters and gay-friendly voters are critical. However, Florida is a deeply conservative Southern state and it is unlikely to be one where homophobia causes more votes to be lost than won. I say this as a native of Pensacola, where Southern Baptists control politics and only hard core conservative Republicans have any chance in federal and state elections. The Miami-Fort Lauderdale metropolitan area is extremely unlike the rest of the state.

  15. hmd2010 says

    Florida is a hard State to predict. Yes, the gay population has grown and it is more vocal, but the Latino population has also grown and they tend to be socially conservative. The native population also tends to be socially conservative. There are many New Yorkers in the State and they tend to be more socially liberal and the Jewish population is also more socially liberal, since few, if any, are Orthodox or Hasidic. But if I had to venture a guess, I would say that a strong anti-gay platform would backfire in Florida, but so would a pro-gay platform. If I were running for a federal office there, I would stick with “this is an issue to be decided by each state,” and stay out of the controversy.

  16. says

    Sigh. There are some big gay donors (both Republican and Democrat)in this state that can influence parts of the election. (Ros-Lehtinen our best pro-gay Republican congresswoman happily takes gay money)

    However, if we can’t even elect a lowly rep to the statehouse, I doubt we can be a voting bloc that swings elections.

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