Of course there is always the chance that you'll piss off you captive voters so badly that some WILL defect (Latinos to George W. Bush in 2000) or that too many of them will just stay home on election day (which has got to be one of John McCain's current worries).
Which brings me to one of the most captive populations of all: gay (read GLTGB) Democrats. Despite the existence of Log Cabin Republicans, the idea that a significant number of gays are going to rush out and vote GOP is so laughable that the Dems can not only afford to ignore them, they can abuse them.
Here are some quotes from what Outright Libertarians describes as "the Democratic Party's most popular online community" in a trenchant post entitled Guess Which Party is Queer Bashing Again?
Transgender is a choice, so it doesn't fit with the rest.
There's an awful lot of unspoken about rape and sexual assault in lesbian relationships.
Sexual Orientation IS different from race in the same
Sense that women are not allowed in front-line combat units and were not allowed on shipsl.
It is all about sex, attraction, foxhole desires and showers...
Right or wrong, the comparison to race is fallicious at best.
Who in the hell in their right mind would think, this woman, smart, intelligent, strong leader and very very conscience of the public eye on her would have a lesbian relationship.
The issue of gay marriage is hardly the most pressing issue facing our nation this year. Iraq, the economy, the environment--all of these take much more precedence in my book. Social issues in general will always arouse the emotions and passions but generally take a back seat when it comes to issues of national importance.
(Funny, when we point out that Democrats are opposed to marriage equality, we always get attacked by Democrats!)
That's just a small sample.
If your primary (or at least one of your primary) political values happens to be civil rights for all Americans, sexual orientation notwithstanding, where do you go? Outright Libertarians has formally endorsed George Phillies, but to be real, let's think about candidates with an actual statistical chance of becoming president.
Then it would seem that you only have one choice. Waldo has covered this aspect of the campaign numerous times: if you want the only candidate who has unequivocally--even when it could hurt him politically with other core constituencies--supported civil rights for gay Americans is Barack Obama.
Which appears to be one of those rare cases of a candidate willing to rise above the prejudices of his party faithful.
Not necessarily and endorsement; just a fact.