Gallup Special Report: The LGBT Vote in the 2012 Presidential Election

By Gary J. Gates, Frank Newport
October 2012

A new Gallup Report finds that 71% of LGBT Americans who are registered voters support President Obama for reelection, while 22% support Governor Mitt Romney. From June to September, non-LGBT registered voters preferred Romney to Obama by one percentage point, 47% to 46%. However, when LGBT voters are added to electorate, Obama moves slightly ahead of Romney (47% to 45%).  These findings suggest that the highly Democratic vote of the LGBT population could be enough to swing a very close election toward Obama.

The findings are based on more than 120,000 interviews of adults in the US, which represents the largest representative sample of LGBT men and women ever collected. Key findings include:

One in Five LGBT Americans Are Conservative

While 45% of LGBT individuals describe their political views as liberal or very liberal, one in five (20%) describe themselves as conservative or very conservative. Among non-LGBT Americans, 23% say they are liberal, and two in five (39%) say they are conservative. LGBT and non-LGBT individuals are almost equally likely to think of themselves as moderate (35% and 38%, respectively).

LGBT Americans Slightly Less Likely to Be Registered to Vote

About three-fourths of LGBT individuals (74%) say they are registered or plan to register to vote, compared with 80% of non-LGBT men and women.

Demographics of LGBT Voter Preferences Similar to the Overall Population’s

The overall demographic patterns that are associated with the general population’s preferences for Obama and Romney are also apparent within the LGBT population. LGBT Americans who support Romney tend to be older, white, more religious, and more likely to be married.

LGBT Individuals Tend to Approve of Obama

Sixty-eight percent of LGBT Americans approved of the way Obama was doing his job as president during the June-September survey period, compared with 45% of non-LGBT Americans. Twenty-eight percent of LGBT Americans disapproved of the way Obama was doing his job, compared with 51% of non-LGBT individuals.

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