Nate Silver: Most Women Like Hillary Clinton ‘Evolved’ On Gay Marriage Many Years Ago

Nate silver

With Hillary Clinton’s position on gay marriage back in the news following a combative interview with NPR host Terry Gross last week on the possible ‘political’ motivations for evolving on the issue in March 2013, statistician Nate Silver has taken the opportunity to crunch the numbers on whether Clinton’s late-blooming evolution was typical of women in her demographic profile.

ClintonSilver, using individual-level voter data from three states that voted on gay marriage initiatives in 2008 (California, Arizona, and Florida) found that somewhere between 75 and 90 percent of women in Clinton’s demographic profile supported gay marriage in 2008 (Democratic, non-evangelical Protestant, top category for household income and education, older aged females).

Silver says questions surrounding whether Clinton’s residence is urban or suburban and whether she is more of a “liberal” or a “moderate” account for the range – 75 percent of moderate, suburban women like Clinton supported gay marriage in 2008, with 90 percent of liberal, urban women like Clinton doing the same.

Furthermore, Silver finds:

Silver dataThe majority of women with this profile supported gay marriage long ago. I estimate, for instance, that about 75 percent of liberal, urban, Democratic women who otherwise match Clinton’s demographic characteristics did so even in 1992. And support among moderate, suburban Democratic women like Clinton rose above 50 percent shortly after her husband took office in 1993. Those figures might seem high. But there were some people who supported gay marriage in the early 1990s — about 25 percent of the U.S. population, based on the trend from national opinion polls. These were just the sort of people likely to be among that 25 percent.

More on Silver’s findings HERE.



  1. I wont grow up says

    This murdering serial liar will say ANYTHING, to get elected and the media will do ANYTHING to put her there.
    Now you guys can attack me, but please tell me how she is qualified.

  2. Arkansassy says

    Hillary Clinton is actually kind of sad. She has no confidence in herself and perpetually goes with the crowd. If she “evolved” her beliefs on gay marriage years ago, she should have had the courage to speak up when doing so might have made a difference. Same goes with her support of the Iraq war. Hillary Clinton is a follower, not a leader. We deserve better than her.

  3. Charles says

    Is it so shocking that a politician would wait to support gay marriage until it’s politically feasible? Do you really want to rake her over the coals for this? What about Obama? Bill Clinton? Almost every other Democrat? What year would be an acceptable cut off point for you?

  4. simon says

    I won’t grow up:
    This is what you asked for:
    U.S. Senate (2001 to 2009), New York – population 19,576,125.
    67th Secretary of State (2009-2013)
    What is your qualification?

  5. Gaiboi says

    All of you non-supportive Hillary folk don’t have to worry, if she decides to run, I’m sure there will be a viable candidate offered you from the other party.

  6. cjmartindale says

    Look at the actual things she accomplished in her position at State for gays. She made it a welcoming place for gay employees. She supported gay issues at the UN. She had no control over marriage equality ten years ago, and her views were in the mainstream of public opinion. Big deal! She has the capacity to be the President in two years, and her actions–not her speeches–show she will be good for our community.

  7. Arkansassy says

    Can you provide an example where Hillary Clinton was a leader? Being elected to an office or appointed to a position does not a leader make.

  8. Josh says

    Civil unions were a gateway position for all Dems with presidential aspirations in the early/mid 2000s.

    I think it’s absurd to create a double standard based on polling to single her out for attack in this way.

  9. simon says

    “I am a murdering serial liar” is not in her resume. I guess you also won’t put “I beat my wife everyday” on yours.

  10. Josh says

    @ARKANSASSY Well if you’re truly interested, you could always read her new book. But since this thread is about attacking people’s motivations…

  11. jmartindale says

    Josh–yes, this is about attacking motives. And there are Koch suckers out there that want gays to hate Hilary. I wonder if any of these guys are on the payroll. Depress the vote. It is never too early to start.

  12. jason MacBride says

    Hillary isn’t a liberal. She’s a very slightly left of center moderate.

  13. simon says

    “Being elected to an office or appointed to a position does not a leader make.”
    That may be true. Depending on what you mean by “leader”.
    She is no “Winston Churchill”. Neither was Winston Churchill “Winston Churchill” in peacetime. Of all the potential presidential candidates, I wonder why you single her out not being a “leader”. By your standard, Obama also is not a “leader”. You may say he is a bit too cautious which I think is actually a virtue.
    Is Bush a ‘leader’? Well, his recklessness led us to unnecessary wars which proved to be ineffective and cost us tremendously in terms of lives and money.
    I gave you this one example. Is that the kind of leader you want?

  14. downtownla says

    Even if Clinton were just like everyone else in her demographic, the point is, we want a leader. She should’ve been one of the first to support us. If not, then don’t try to call yourself a leader on these issues.

  15. BrokebackBob says

    Since Nate Silver became a media whore, his credibility at least with me has plummeted. Hilary Clinton would make an excellent next President, she won’t let the Tea Party and the RepubliThugs walk all over her like Obama has done.

  16. Gigi says

    Let’s be honest. The Clintons and the Obamas were probably A-OK with The Gays a long time ago, but to say so openly would not have been politically prudent. The Clintons had no problem throwing us under the bus, signing DOMA into law, as long as doing so ensured that they got into (and stay in) the White House. You don’t get into the White House by being nice. Obama’s the same. There’s no way a black (Muslim – hahaha!) man could have been elected President if he’d been a supporter of gay rights. So he fibbed…until he was elected President. Then he did the right thing. I don’t fault his for that.

  17. Josh says

    @BROKEBACKBOB The main problem was low Democratic turnout in 2010, similar to the Republican wave in 1994 under the other Clinton.

    Otherwise, the tea party hasn’t helped Republicans win elections–pushing Romney to the right and blowing Senate races in Delaware, Nevada, Colorado, Indiana, and Missouri.

  18. Markt says

    Even Cheney had to give her credit for being a competent Secretary of State. So that’s impressive. She led the first health care initiative as First Lady. The forces at play had stymied many “leaders” who had tried before her. Her jump into the breach was the strongest up until that time.
    As a NYS Senator she actually made advances for the state and the country. Her upstate initiatives actually brought some business and revitalization to the rust belt there.
    There will be no one running for president with a stronger track record and resume. However, I will credit the criticism that she runs scared of public opinion.

  19. Moony says

    There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton had privately supported gay marriage for years, but had chosen not to publicly support it so as not to hurt her political image. It was a self-serving move to maximize her success in politics.

    And I don’t care. I support her 100%. She has arguably done more for international gay visibility than the majority of political leaders in the world. Her support for us now is powerful and unwavering.

    If you can find me another political leader that has the same pro-LGBT track record, extensive political experience, and influence… who ALSO happens to have supported gay marriage since the 90s and earlier, then we’ll talk.

  20. Sim says

    Moony; GWB…he hide behind the same political “fear” as HRC, oh AND BO has/is until Biden forced his hand…difference? After there is no political fall out from an election season? Yes…lets whisper it
    in rooms of “supporters” but dare not speak it to the crowd!

  21. Sim says

    PS, Last election cycle when he was dead on, Nate Silver was a demigod genius; now he is a queer sell out media whore!

  22. IPW says

    I have mixed feelings about Hilary. She was considered the defacto nominee in 2008 but Obama was a surprise. I supported O through the nomination process, even though I assumed She’d get it. I would have supported her if she did. I’d have voted for any Dem against the republican candidate really. It’s just that she is a politicians politician. Less concerned for what the country needs and more concerned about how she plays in the polls, which she assiduously follows. She’ll never get in front of an issue. She has always done what is politically expedient. Remember DOMA and Don’t ask Don’t tell were both signed into law under Bill. I know this can be said of any politician, but I can’t help but think of an unfunny version of HBO’s show Veep.

  23. MaryM says

    Hillary Clinton’s husband is is Bill – a man who damaged the lives of LGB people far more than George W Bush through his signing of DOMA and DADT.

    He has NEVER apologised for his disgusting homophobia.

    Why should Hillary be trusted on her support for equality.

    She’ll say or do anything to advance her career.

  24. Liam says

    Gigi: You have your facts a litte skewed. Bill Clinton was a big supporter when he was elected for his first term. His first act as president was to try and make it ok for gays to serve openly in the military. The Newt Gingrich lead republicans in the House lost their minds. DADT was a compromise to prevent even more harsh laws being enacted against us. Now you can say he was naive for pushing this agenda at that time but you cannot say he was not for us. He got burned so badly over this that he was very very cautious to support any of our issues in the future. Hillary learned from this. She waited until it was possible to get our issues actually passed with public support to publicly come out for them. What she did do when Secretary of State was vocally support us in the State department. She made sure we where represented at every level in the diplomatic field. She pushed inclusiveness for gays in State. She attended gay weddings of her aides. She was a leader on gay issues at State where she had a definite role as the head of the agency. SO yes she is a demonstrated leader on gay issues at State while she was there.

  25. MaryM says

    Liam – Bill Clinton does NOT deserve forgiveness for DADT and DOMA.

    The damage he wreaked on that lives of millions of LGB Americans is unforgiveable.

    Hillary only ‘evolved’ when it became convenient for her.

    Neither of the Clinton’s are allies of our LGB community (I am not including the T here as their struggle is separate from the LGB campaign).

  26. Derrick from Philly says

    @ “I will not vote if she gets the nomination.”

    Then prepare for a Republican to make the next 3 or 4 appointments to the US Supreme Court; and prepare for all the civil rights advancements for Gay (and other minorities) to go down the drain.

  27. Randy says

    Clinton should just have admitted that she has no more principle than a weather vane on human rights.

    The most telling part of that graph is that Clinton announced her “evolution” exactly as national support crossed 50%.

    I only wish I knew whether Biden’s support was a result of backbone or bonehead.