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    March 16, 2008

    Obama doing well with gay voters

    Posted by: Chris

    Hilaryb_1 Former Blade editor Lisa Keen has an interesting analysis this week that shows Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are closely splitting the vote in districts with large gay populations:

    Counting almost 34,000 votes in 39 heavily gay precincts across eight cities, Clinton has won 52 percent of the vote, compared to Barack Obama’s 48 percent. The neighborhood precincts surveyed included those in Boston, Dallas, Key West, Los Angeles County, Northampton, Mass., Provincetown, San Francisco and South Beach.

    Vote counts from those precincts in Houston considered to have large LGBT populations were not yet available.

    Obama was the preferred candidate in the heavily gay neighborhoods of Boston, Northampton, San Francisco and Chicago; Clinton won in Dallas, Key West, Los Angeles County, Provincetown, South Beach and New York (the latter based on exit polling).

    The numbers offer a striking contrast to those gay exit polls from California and New York purporting to show Clinton with the overwhelming advantage among lesbian, gay and bisexual voters: 63-29 in California and 59-36 in New York. I've already offered some reasons for why these exit polls provide a distorted view of LGB support, but another is relevant when they are compared to the voting in gay districts.

    Exit polls -- like the Knowledge Networks online survey that surfaced during the transgender debate over the Employment Non-Discrimination Act -- are general public surveys that include anyone who self-identifies as lesbian, gay or bisexual. These surveys include large numbers of people -- mostly bisexuals -- who don't necessarily self-identify as a part of the "LGBT community" and are not active participants of it.

    Putting aside the more incendiary question of which is the more valuable measure, it's clear given the various disparities that they measure two very different things.

    (Table of gay voting districts via Dallas Voice)



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