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Will Gay and Lesbian Voters Swing Philly for Obama or Clinton?

In Philadelphia, gays constitute an estimated 5 percent of voters. That is not an inconsequential percentage in a race as tight as this one.
 
 
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There’s an article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer about how both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are courting the gay vote in PA as they square off for the primary here in just three weeks. It mentions how both campaigns value that voting bloc, and how Chelsea extended her campaign visit to Woody’s, a major gay bar here, in order to visit with the largely gay and lesbian crowd. I’m thinking this is a good thing. Neither Clinton nor Obama seems to have a lock on this segment of the voting population, but they sure are energizing the gay and lesbian voters here in Philly. Here’s a little of the piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer:

You don’t see many women at Woody’s, but Chelsea Clinton popped in last week.

To a packed house of screaming supporters, the 28-year-old former first child led a presidential pep rally for her mother at one of the oldest gay bars in Philadelphia.

“We love your highlights!” a man yelled from the crowd, referring to Chelsea’s tresses. “Wow,” she said, temporarily bumped off message, “that’s something I never heard before.”

At the end of an exhausting day of nonstop events, Chelsea was supposed to leave after 10 minutes. She ended up staying 25.

A few years ago, such a scene would have been unthinkable. But with an eye on the April 22 Pennsylvania Democratic primary, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama are fervently courting the gay vote.

In Philadelphia, gays constitute an estimated 5 percent of voters, according to Malcolm Lazin, president of Equality Forum. That is not an inconsequential percentage in a race as tight as this one.

Steven Reynolds is a regular blogger for the All Spin Zone