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Three-quarters of LGBTQ voters back Joe Biden, GLAAD poll finds

With the election just a month away, 74 percent of LGBTQ registered voters said they support Biden, while 17 percent back Trump, according to a GLAAD poll.
Image: U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Johnstown
Supporters cheer Joe Biden at a campaign stop in Johnstown, Pa., on Sept. 30, 2020.Mike Segar / Reuters

With the presidential election a little more than a month away, a new poll finds 74 percent of LGBTQ registered voters are supporting Democratic candidate Joe Biden.

According to GLAAD’s State of LGBTQ Voters report, released Thursday, just 17 percent of the registered voters surveyed said they were pulling the lever for President Donald Trump. Six percent said they plan to back another candidate and 3 percent remain undecided. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percent.

The poll, conducted by Pathfinder Opinion Research from Sept. 21-25, indicated 88 percent of the 800 LGBTQ respondents were registered voters.

Of them, 92 percent said they were “definitely or probably” voting in the presidential election — and over 80 percent said they felt more motivated to vote now than in any other recent election.

According to data from UCLA’s Williams Institute released last November, 1 in 5 LGBTQ Americans were not registered. But GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis says there’s been a surge in voter registration this year.

“LGBTQ voters are poised to make a deciding difference this election year,” Ellis said in a statement. “Our community understands how much is at stake in this election. We cannot sit this one out — our very lives are on the line.”

In a memo to GLAAD, Pathfinder confirmed that LGBTQ voters “represent a highly motivated, vital Democratic voting bloc.”

In an address last week to the Human Rights Campaign, Biden said LGBTQ Americans deserved “a partner in the White House.”

“Together we’ll pass the Equality Act, protect LGBTQ youth, expand access to health care, support LGBTQ workers, win full rights for transgender Americans, recommit to ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2025 [and] advance LGBT rights around the globe, not just at home.”

The results from the new report are similar to exit polls from the 2016 presidential election, which found 78 percent of LGBTQ voters backed Hillary Clinton, the Democratic candidate, compared to 14 percent who said they voted for Trump.

“Today’s poll demonstrates a monumental lead for Vice President Biden in the race for president,” Ellis said, “and is a direct response to the incessant and capricious attacks from the Trump Administration on LGBTQ Americans since day one.”

Despite a series of anti-LGBTQ measures — including banning transgender service members from the armed forces, supporting the right of adoption agencies to reject same-sex couples, and opposing workplace protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity — the Trump campaign has publicized the president as a friend to the community.

In August, Trump tweeted a campaign video made by Richard Grenell, the openly gay former acting director of national intelligence, calling the president “the strongest ally that gay Americans have ever had in the White House.”

Grenell is part of the Trump campaign’s Trump Pride advisory board, which promotes him as “the first president to begin his presidency in support of marriage equality.”

After declining to endorse Trump in 2016, the Log Cabin Republicans, a national LGBTQ conservative organization, endorsed the president for re-election and launched OUTSpoken, a multimedia campaign designed to give gay conservatives a platform during the race.

Earlier this month, Trump retweeted an article about a survey, conducted by the gay social network Hornet, that found 45 percent of gay male respondents planned to vote for him.

Hornet cautioned its survey was unscientific and shouldn’t be taken as predictive of voter response on Nov. 3. In GLAAD’s poll, likely voters who identified as gay men favored Biden over Trump 80 percent to 18. Gay women backed Biden 83 to 11, while non-cisgender voters supported the former vice president 72 to 18.

Still, Tuesday morning on Fox & Friends, the president's son Eric Trump said the LGBT community "come[s] out in full force for my father every single day.”

He was responding to a New York Times opinion piece Monday about a lesbian who plans to vote for his father.

“I'm part of that community, and we love the man," he added, leading some to speculate the president's third eldest child had come out. He later clarified his remarks in an interview with the New York Post.

But 75 percent of the LGBTQ respondents in GLAAD’s poll said they held “somewhat or very” unfavorable opinions of Trump, while 57 percent said they had somewhat or very favorable opinions of Biden.

Ellis said the results “should put to rest the misinformation from the president’s team and other unreliable sources about his record and where critical LGBTQ voters stand in this election.”

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