Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

ELECTION A Losing Cause

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

ELECTION A Losing Cause

Article excerpt

Pat Buchanan's poor performance in this year's presidential race will prove damaging to his future antigay crusades

As the 2000 presidential campaign dwindled down to its final days with polls showing the race neck and neck between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore, pundits said the contest was too close to call. But one thing they were sure of: Pat Buchanan was a loser. The right-wing commentator had survived a bruising battle within the Reform Party that challenged his presidential nomination, but that was just about the last victory Buchanan won. By the beginning of November, he was limping to a poor finish. In national opinion polls, the onetime Republican had consistently registered at 1% or less, far below the 5% of the vote the Reform Party needs to win matching federal funds.

Does Buchanan's electoral demise mean that the antigay cultural politics that Buchanan has come to represent is dead? "Antigay appeals, on the national level at least, seem to have lost a lot of oomph," says Hastings Wyman, editor of the Southern Political Report. "People are tired of bigoted appeals of any sort. By leaving the GOP, Buchanan marginalized himself from the mainstream of American politics. …

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