Political donations from gay rights groups and activists, perhaps disheartened by the Democrats' lack of progress on key issues and uninspired by the scarcity of gay-related initiatives on the ballot in November, reached their lowest numbers in the last 20 years during the 2010 election cycle.
According to a report from the Center for Responsive Politics, the approximately $850,000 contributed from January 2009 through September is the smallest amount since since 1990.
The swing was significant, the Center for Responsive Politics reports, as total contributions from PACs and individual donors fell 58 percent from the $2 million put forth in 2006. Personal donations were hit the hardest this cycle, as the more than $1.1 million provided during the 2006 election cycle dropped to a mere $151,000.
Andy Szekeres, a political consultant and fundraiser on LGBT issues, tells the Center for Responsive Politics's OpenSecrets Blog that gay rights activists are prone to "emotional" factors that were not present in these elections.
And they weren't the only ones who felt that something was lacking.
A New York Times piece from September reported that wealthy Democratic bulwarks, such as billionaires George Soros and Peter B. Lewis, were taking huge steps back from their blanket financial support of the party. Instead, they were choosing to channel funds directly to specific issue-related causes, in part because they no longer had faith that propping up Democratic candidates would necessarily lead to progress on their primary concerns.
Read the entire Center for Responsive Politics report here.