NPR says there's a group that's having a newfound impact on state-level politics: the gays. Specifically, the rich gays:
A new force is emerging in American politics: wealthy, gay political donors who target state-level races. Last year, they funneled millions of dollars into dozens of carefully selected campaigns. Their goal: to elect gay-friendly governors and state lawmakers.
The NPR piece focuses on Washington State, where wealthy donors like Tim Gill, a gay software mogul from Denver, have helped influence state policy:
[Gill] and his network of deep-pocketed friends targeted some 70 state-level races in more than a dozen states -- including Washington state....
This focus on state politics makes sense strategically. Consider what has happened in Washington state with Democrats in control of both the House and Senate. In the last two years, lawmakers have passed a gay nondiscrimination law and domestic partnership legislation.