The Pros And Cons Of Newsom’s Gay Politics

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Gay marriage in California could both help and hinder Gavin Newsom’s gubernatorial hopes.

The mayor of San Francisco, who infamously issued same-sex marriage licenses in 2004, will certainly benefit from the state’s Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling this year. While gays, youth and progressives could help him clinch the Democratic nomination, analysts suggest a different statewide playing field:

Republican political analyst Dan Schnur, who is not affiliated with any gubernatorial campaign, said the gay-marriage issue should help the two-term San Francisco mayor in the primary, but the general election is another matter.

Republicans have long succeeded by exploiting the “San Francisco values” label in statewide races, most recently with former Mayor Dianne Feinstein in her gubernatorial run against Pete Wilson in 1990.

“It could be a double-edged sword in the general election. In the Democratic primary, it´s a huge plus,” Mr. Schnur said. “It allows him to break away from the pack.”

Newsom also faces an uphill battle for his public affair, subsequent divorce and admitted alcoholism.

Of course, Newsom’s gubernatorial election wouldn’t happen for two more years, so we still have to get through November, when the recently inaugurated gay marriages may be squashed by a statewide amendment on the matter. The anticipation is killing us!