After a tense 2020 election exit polls are now showing that 28% of LGBTQ people voted for Republican President Donald Trump.
This news has shocked the LGBTQ community due to the ongoing policies the Trump administration has set in place and attempted to set in place to make the lives of LGBTQ individuals more difficult.
According to the exit polls, 61% of LGBTQ-identifying people overwhelmingly voted for President-elect Joe Biden who campaigned on supporting the LGBTQ community telling The Human Rights Campaign, LGBTQ Americans deserve “a partner in the White House”.
Despite President Trump’s anti-LGBTQ past, including opposing LGBTQ workplace protections, he was able to attain 28% of the LGBTQ vote improving on his 2016 showing, when he ran against Hillary Clinton, and only won 13% of the LGBTQ vote.
Exit polling that canvassed nearly 16,000 people who voted in the election found that 7% of the voters identified as LGBTQ, a record turnout. The surveys, by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, interviewed voters outside of polling places or early voting sites, or by phone. (The survey asked people to identify if they were gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender only.)
The turnout means that LGBTQ voters were over-represented at the ballot box, since an estimated 4.5% of the U.S. population is LGBTQ. In 2016, LGBTQ voters represented 5% of the electorate; in the 2018 midterm election, the LGBTQ turnout was 6%.
However some LGBTQ advocates cautioned against reading too much into the data from preliminary exit polls.
“We are highly skeptical of the ability to get fast and reliable exit poll data, especially for a diverse community like ours, in an election year with unprecedented levels of absentee and vote-by-mail ballots cast,” Zeke Stokes, a consultant who served as advisor to the LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD on 2020 voter engagement initiatives, said in a statement. “As additional data becomes available we are confident that the early reports of increased LGBTQ support for an anti-equality President will prove inaccurate.”
While the numbers don’t capture the full queer electorate — there are approximately 9 million registered LGBTQ+ voters in the U.S. — they are relatively surprising since Trump’s presidency has been a disaster for the LGBTQ+ community.
Given the size of the Edison polling sample, the results surveyed nearly 1,100 LGBTQ voters. Such a large sample size means the results are more accurate of the population as a whole. (It’s possible the turnout number is actually a little larger, as some respondents may be reluctant to identify as LGBT to someone they don’t know.)
Many liberals who identify as LGBTQ took to social media to voice their opinions on those exit polls while LGBTQ conservatives took a victory lap, stating the end of identity politics and the Democratic Party’s weakening hold on minority voters in general.