The Republican Rhetoric of Identification With Gay and Lesbian Voters in the 2000 Presidential Campaign

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Atlantic Journal of Communication

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republicans, gay people, lesbians, presidents, political campaigns, voters, election, United States


American Politics | Gender and Sexuality


The apparent resonation of George W. Bush and the Republican Party with gay and lesbian Americans secured 25% of their vote in the 2000 presidential election. Before offering an analysis of the 2000 Republican campaign rhetoric aimed at lesbians-gays, the article makes a case for the power of their vote in determining who took the presidential office in January of 2001. The major focus of the work centers on a study of the Republicans' efforts to identify with gay and lesbian voters. Relying on Kenneth Burke and other noted theorists, the article examines four key events: (a) an April 13, 2000, gathering with lesbian and gay representatives; (b) the 2000 Republican national convention; (c) the vice presidential campaign debate; and (d) the second presidential campaign debate. A final section discusses the significance of the study, especially regarding political candidates wanting to identify with previously unfriendly voting groups.

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