Report

The 2020 LGBT Vote

Preferences and characteristics of LGBT voters in the U.S.
October 2019

This report assess characteristics of LGBT and non-LGBT voters and their preferences for a presidential candidate. Data were collected in a 2019 national poll conducted by the Williams Institute and Ipsos/Reuters.

Highlights
LGBT voters were significantly more likely than non-LGBT voters to say that they would support a seasoned political candidate.
LGBT voters were significantly more likely than non-LGBT voters to say they would support candidates who are Black, Latino/a, or LGBT.
LGBT voters are more likely than non-LGBT voters to be male, young, and live in urban areas.
Data Points
9 million
LGBT adults are registered to vote
50%
of registered LGBT voters are Democrats
22%
of registered LGBT voters are Latino/a
13%
are Black
21%
of LGBT adults are not registered to vote
Report

Executive Summary

Nearly nine million LGBT adults are registered and eligible to vote in the 2020 general election.1 Half of registered LGBT voters (50%) are Democrats, 15% are Republicans, 22% are Independents, and 13% said they identify with another party or did not know with which party they most identify.2 LGBT voters are racially diverse, nearly half (47%) are under age 35, and one-third have at least a college education.

A 2019 national Williams Institute and Reuters/Ipsos poll asked LGBT and non-LGBT likely voters what they are looking for in a presidential candidate. In terms of political experience, LGBT voters were significantly more likely than non-LGBT voters to say that they would support a seasoned political candidate. The poll also found that LGBT voters were significantly more likely than non-LGBT voters to say they would support candidates who are black, Latino/a, or LGBT themselves. However, majorities of both LGBT and non-LGBT voters said that the race and sexual orientation of a candidate would not influence their vote.

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The 2020 LGBT Vote

Range 7,560,000 to 9,899,000. This figure was calculated by applying the percentage of LGBT adults who said they were registered to vote in response to the 2019 Williams Institute and Reuters/Ipsos poll (79%) to the number of LGBT adults in the U.S. (11,046,000) from Williams Institute, LGBT People in the U.S. Not Protected by State Nondiscrimination States 2 (2019), https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Equality-Act-April-2019.pdf. The estimate is based on the Voting Age Population (VAP). Estimates of registered voters generated by different questions and different samples may vary somewhat from the estimate generated from the 2019 Williams Institute and Reuters/Ipsos survey.

Percentages are rounded throughout this report, so totals may not always add up to 100%.