MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – This weekend an estimated 300,000 people packed the Pride Festival in the Twin Cities.

The Festival is one of the largest GLBT events in the nation and a parade Sunday morning attracted top Democratic political leaders.

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It’s an indication of how powerful gay voters are.

The turnout by top Democrats at Sunday’s Pride parade is an annual tradition.

Exit polls in the 2012 presidential election showed that gay voters backed Democrats by a three to one margin.

In key states like Florida and Ohio, that huge advantage with gay voters helped President Obama not only win those states but put him over the top in the electoral college.

And while gay marriage has been legal for a year in Minnesota, it remains a source of debate nationwide.

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On a tour to promote her new book, Hillary Clinton, who is clearly eyeing a Presidential run in 2016, has stumbled over questions why she did not support gay marriage when she ran in 2008.

Clinton was not alone. Barack Obama didn’t back gay’s right to marry until the summer of 2012.

Political Analyst David Schultz appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“This year, in a year where it’s not a presidential election year, where Democrats are less likely to vote than Republicans. Especially showing up this year to try and get the Democrats and young people very excited about the election to turn out in November is a very smart political move,” Schultz said.

If gay marriage is still an issue for Democrats, it is even a tougher one for Republicans. With national polls showing a majority of Americans now backing gay marriage, many conservative candidates are simply trying to avoid the issue.

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You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning every Sunday with Esme Murphy and Matt Brickman at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.