A large majority of registered LGBT voters support Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, according to results of two weeks of the NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll.
Seventy-two percent of registered LGBT voters support Clinton, compared to 20 percent who support Trump.
On the campaign trail, Trump has touted himself as the better candidate to fight for LGBT rights, but his decision to pick Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his running-mate was seen by some as contradictory to his LGBT-friendly claims.
When Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Party candidate Jill Stein are added to the match-up question, Clinton still maintained the lead among registered LGBT voters with 63 percent support. Trump, on the other hand, had 15 percent support. Johnson was not far behind with 13 percent, followed by 8 percent support for Stein.
In past elections, LGBT voters have played an important role. According to results from the 2012 NBC News Exit Polls, 5 percent of voters identified as gay, lesbian or bisexual** and 76 percent voted for Barack Obama. Voters who did not identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual were split—49 percent voted for Obama and 49 percent voted for Romney.
Under President Obama’s tenure, the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage across the country. The landmark decision was considered a huge victory for LGBT rights. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 78 percent of registered LGBT voters said they approve of the way Obama is handling his job.
From September 5 through September 18, the tracking poll captured 1,728 LGBT respondents, which accounted for 7 percent of the total sample. Two separate questions were asked to gauge sexual orientation and gender identity.*
Across two weeks of data from the tracking poll, a majority (85 percent) identified as heterosexual or straight and 7 percent identified as LGBT—3 percent identified as homosexual, another 3 percent identified as bisexual and 1 percent identified as transgender.
An overwhelming 82 percent of LGBT registered voters said they have an unfavorable impression of Trump compared to 41 percent who said they have an unfavorable impression of Clinton. Just under six in 10 said they have a favorable impression of Clinton. Only 17 percent said the same of Trump.
The LGBT community has historically supported the Democratic Party, and the tracking poll found that 70 percent of registered LGBT voters were Democrats and Democratic-leaners. More LGBT registered voters identified as Republicans and Republican-leaners (18 percent) than as Independents (13 percent).
The LGBT community was an important group for Obama’s re-election four years ago and will be a key group for the Democratic Party again in November.
*The NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking poll included two questions across two weeks – September 5 through September 18: 1) Do you consider yourself to be: Heterosexual or straight, Homosexual, Bisexual, Prefer not to answer 2) Do you consider yourself to be transgender? Yes, No
**The national exit poll numbers are among those who identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual and do not include transgender voters.