Obama and the Gay Vote
Today marks what could be a turning point in the US Presidential race. Obama and Clinton are running close in the Texas and Ohio primaries and it’s interesting that the gay vote has come to prominence once more. The Advocate is reporting that: ‘Comparing their strategy to the Bush/Cheney get-out-the-vote efforts in Ohio in 2004, Stern said the Obama camp has identified local LGBT folks to work gayborhoods such as Montrose in Houston and the Short North in Columbus.
“What they did, that we’re now doing, was they deputized local people to go door-to-door and serve as precinct captains, while the Kerry campaign was sending people from out of state into Ohio to run the ground game,” he said, adding that he believes that’s why the Democrats lost the Buckeye State in 2004. “Ultimately, if you’re talking to an undecided voter, if you’re their neighbor down the street, they’re more likely to listen to your argument and be persuaded by it. We’ve learned from that.”
But just as quickly as Obama has been striking, Clinton has been swinging back. No sooner had his campaign secured four full-page ads in four separate gay weeklies in Dallas, Houston, Columbus, and Cleveland, than she had conducted a conference call with reporters from three of the same weeklies. The Clinton camp also announced the formation of a 38-member LGBT steering committee in Ohio last week.
And in Houston – which has the 10th largest gay population in the nation – after the city’s nonpartisan GLBT caucus endorsed Obama last week, Clinton spent 20 minutes of her Friday evening answering questions from the Houston Stonewall Democrats, who endorsed her on Saturday. ‘