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Elections 2020

Nearly 9 Million LGBT Adults are Registered to Vote in 2020 General Election

New study looks at the characteristics and preferences of LGBT voters

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Nearly nine million LGBT adults are registered to vote, according to a new analysis by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. Half of registered LGBT voters (50%) are Democrats, 15% are Republicans, and 22% are Independents. The remaining LGBT voters said they identify with another party or did not know with which party they most identify.

The Williams Institute and Reuters/Ipsos conducted a national poll in 2019 to assess the characteristics of LGBT voters and their preferences for a presidential candidate. Researchers found that LGBT voters were significantly more likely than non-LGBT voters to say that they would support a seasoned political candidate. In addition, LGBT voters were significantly more likely than non-LGBT voters to say they would support candidates who are black, Latino/a, or LGBT. However, majorities of both LGBT and non-LGBT voters said that the race and sexual orientation of a candidate would not influence their vote.

“LGBT voters differ from non-LGBT voters in several ways. For example, they are more likely to be young, male, and live in urban areas,” said study author Christy Mallory, State and Local Policy Director at the Williams Institute. “LGBT voters are also more likely to identify with the Democratic Party. Over four million LGBT Democrats are eligible to vote in the primaries next year.”

KEY FINDINGS

Half of LGBT voters (51%) said that they were more likely to support “a career politician who knows his or her way around the political process,” compared to 40% of non-LGBT voters.

About a third of LGBT voters said they were more likely to support a candidate because the candidate was black or Latino/a (34% and 35%, respectively). By comparison, 21% of non-LGBT voters said they were more likely to support a black candidate and 16% said they were more likely to support a Latino/a candidate.

41% percent of LGBT voters said they would be more likely to vote for a gay candidate and 34% said they would be more likely to vote for a lesbian candidate, compared to 10% and 11%, respectively, of non-LGBT voters.

Among LGBT voters, over one-quarter (28%) said they were more likely to support a candidate because the candidate was transgender or gender non-binary. By comparison, 9% of non-LGBT voters said they were more likely to support a transgender or gender non-binary candidate.

22% of LGBT voters are Latino/a, 13% are black, 61% are white, and 4% are other races or multiracial.

57% of LGBT voters are men and 43% are women.

One-fifth of LGBT adults (21%) and 17% of non-LGBT adults are not registered to vote.

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september 2020

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