When President Obama made his endorsement of gay marriage (on the state level) last month, many Republicans and media commentators scoffed that the topic would not be a major issue this campaign year. But persistant reports on the importance of the issue among those bankrolling the president’s reelection campaign illustrate the naivety of these claims. A CNN analysis released Tuesday reveals that at least one in sixteen of the president’s biggest fundraisers are gay.
After President Obama announced his support for same-sex marriage, a group organizing a fundraiser on his behalf suddenly had to find a bigger venue. The event, featuring the pop singer Pink, is one of two LGBT-organized fundraisers Obama is expected to attend on the West Coast on Wednesday.
A CNN analysis of President Obama’s biggest fundraisers, known as bundlers, shows that at least 33 — or about one in every 16 bundlers — is openly gay. Together, they have raised at least $8 million for the campaign between January and the end of March.
In CNN’s analysis, only bundlers who have disclosed their orientation in past CNN reporting or in trusted LGBT publications were counted as gay. The Washington Post has reported that as many as one in six bundlers supporting Obama are gay. The Advocate Magazine estimates one in five.
Discussion on the power of “gay money” in the reelection campaign has been brought up before. In the time in between Joe Biden’s infamous appearance on” Meet the Press” and the president’s formal support for gay marriage during an interview with ABC’s Robin Roberts three days later, NBC’s Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd commented on “Morning Joe” that the importance of “gay money” has “replaced Wall Street money” for Barack Obama in the 2012 election.