Sunday, November 16, 2008

Orlando Sentinel: Gays Creating A Blue State

The Sun Sentinel analyzes the growing Democratic trend in Orange and cites four key reasons, chief among them the growing influence of Orlando's gay community.

While Hispanics have been much ballyhooed as the new swing vote in Orange County, they are not the only bloc that turned Orange solidly blue this presidential election. Also at play is a powerful Democratic coalition that has evolved in the past couple of decades. The article also points to the emergence of the "creative class" arguably a factor related to the LGBT community as well.

Change No. 1: The emergence of labor unions.

Change No. 2: The influence of gays.

Particularly in the city of Orlando, the gay population continues to emerge as a potent political force. Gay residents make their views known and often get results. They played a particularly important role in 2003 when Democrat Buddy Dyer was elected as mayor in a nasty race with Repu blican Pete Barr. Though the position is nonpartisan, the party lines were drawn quite clearly by everyone involved. The city's gay rights ordinance was one of the most contentious issues in the campaign. A large turnout by gays was key in easily returning Dyer --who supported the law -- to office.

Change No. 3: An increase in the black population.

Change No. 4: The emergence of a "creative class."

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