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    February 21, 2008

    Will gay superdelegates decide race?

    Posted by: Chris

    Barackobama That's the speculation by former Blade editor Lisa Keen in an article in the Bay Area Reporter:

    According to various media head counts, about 300 of the 796 super delegates have not yet announced who they will support for the nomination. And, seven of those 300 are openly LGBT super delegates.

    So, if the nomination comes down to superdelegates – as many political pundits speculate it will – then the contest for superdelegates would have to be neck-in-neck for seven LGBT politicos to make the difference. …

    [A]ccording to Stonewall Democrats, … of the 15 LGBT superdelegates who have taken sides, 13 support Clinton and two support Obama. One of those supporting Clinton is Mirian Saez, who was at a Clinton get out the vote rally in the Castro last month in advance of Super Tuesday. Saez is a member of the Democratic National Committee.

    The seven uncommitted LGBT superdelegates include California state Sen. Carole Migden (San Francisco); Missouri state Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal; New Hampshire state party Chair Ray Buckley; Oregon state party Vice Chair Frank Dixon; Wisconsin DNC member Jason Rae; David Hardt, president of the national Young Democrats of America; and Andrew Tobias, treasurer of the Democratic National Committee, from New York.

    Party rules prevent Buckley, Hardt, and Tobias from endorsing a candidate.

    My own view is that it's increasingly unlikely that the nomination will come down to just a few superdelegate votes, but stranger things have happened. Keen also points out that the lopsided gay support for Hillary, which I've questioned, doesn't hold true in Texas, the next big primary battleground:

    In the once three-way race among Clinton, Obama, and Edwards, Edwards ran first in Texas in terms of contributions raised in heavily gay Zip codes, followed by Obama in second, and then Clinton. The latest Federal Elections Commission report shows Obama with only a small advantage over Clinton in gay-dense Zip codes in Texas – 52 percent versus 48 percent.

    But Texas continues to stand in stark contrast to most gay-heavy Zip codes around the country, where 58 percent of the contributions have gone to Clinton and 42 percent to Obama. And all these variables seem to both contribute to and reflect the constantly shifting fortunes in this historically significant and volatile race.

    It will be interesting to see how long establishment gay Democrats move to the Obama camp, the way he is solidifying support among organized labor and other party lobbies. Given how the Human Rights Campaign has been so obviously in Hillary's camp, it would behoove them to reach out sooner rather than later to the candidate who appears close to being the presumptive nominee.



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