GLAAD 2020 Post Election Poll: 81% of LGBTQ voters went for President-elect Biden; COVID-19, healthcare, racial justice top three issues for LGBTQ vote

GLAAD, the world’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) media advocacy organization, released the findings of its 2020 Post-election Poll of LGBTQ registered voters, including a phenomenol turnout of the LGBTQ vote, a surge of first-time LGBTQ voters, an overwhelming vote for President-elect Biden, with votes motivated by three top issues  urgently demanding a more robust response from our nation's leaders: COVID-19, healthcare and racial justice. 

The poll, conducted November 9-14 with 800 LGBTQ respondents by Pathfinder Opinion Research, found that 93% of respondents who reported being LGBTQ registered voters said they voted in the 2020 general election. 25% voted for the first time.

Among all LGBTQ voters, 81% voted for President-elect Biden and 14% for President Trump. Among first-time LGBTQ voters, 86% voted for President-elect Biden, 10% for President Trump.

GLAAD’s poll shows significantly stronger LGBTQ support for President-elect Biden, and significantly weaker support for President Trump, than exit polls conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Poll. Edison’s data, widely reported in media outlets after Election Day, found President Trump received 27% of the LGBT vote. However, the reported sample size was approximately 250 LGBT respondents, with a margin of error of +/- 7%. GLAAD’s poll sample size was 800 respondents. For this survey, the overall credibility interval (a theoretical margin of error for non-probability samples) is +/- 3.5%. The credibility interval for subgroups would be larger. The Edison exit poll data was collected in person on Election Day as well with early voters over the phone, a nontraditional combination of collection methods due to the pandemic and to account for mail-in voting. 

In GLAAD’s 2020 Post-Election Poll, respondents considered the following the most important issues as they decided how to vote:

  • COVID-19 response: 54%
  • Healthcare: 25%
  • Racial Justice: 22%
  • LGBTQ equality: 21%
  • Jobs & economy: 18%
  • Environment/climate change: 16%

The GLAAD poll also measured how the COVID-19 crisis directly affected the LGBTQ community.

  • 36% of LGBTQ voters say a close friend or family member tested positive for COVID-19.
  • 36% experienced increased mental health issues. 
  • 29% lost their job or had work reduced.
  • 11% changed living arrangements for financial reasons.
  • 10% had a close friend or family member die from COVID-19.

Among LGBTQ adults, 78% rated President-elect Biden “excellent or good” in addressing LGBTQ issues during the campaign. 80% rated President Trump “not so good or poor” in addressing LGBTQ issues during the campaign.

59% of LGBTQ voters said they didn’t see election-related news coverage of LGBTQ issues during the Presidential campaign, an absence GLAAD repeatedly raised before and after debates and town halls and addressed in multiple stories across the media.

“GLAAD’s poll confirms the impact of the LGBTQ vote as a deciding difference in the 2020 election, especially first-time LGBTQ voters who led a powerful surge of support for the pro-equality ticket,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. “LGBTQ voters also revealed the devastating challenges they’re facing in the COVID-19 crisis and as healthcare is debated in the out-of-control pandemic, as well as the demand for racial justice, issues that led the way for the entire LGBTQ community. These issues reflect the compassion and intelligence of LGBTQ people, and the importance of intersectionality to the LGBTQ community and to America as a whole - that with a diversity of differences in age, race, gender and economic status, we can and will unite as a powerful voting bloc for change - and achieve it.”

In looking to the future, 66% of LGBTQ voters in GLAAD’s poll say they are feeling more optimistic about the future because of the results of the election. 

They also reported to be very/somewhat concerned that the current Supreme Court will start rolling back protections:

  • 80% concerned about LGBTQ employment protections
  • 80% concerned about transgender protections
  • 77% concerned marriage equality will be overturned
  • 74% concerned Roe vs. Wade will be overturned
  • 73% concerned the Affordable Care Act will be overturned
  • 83% of LGBTQ voters in GLAAD’S 2020 poll said it was very/somewhat important to have an LGBTQ justice nominated to the Supreme Court.

GLAAD’s new research shows alignment and a strengthening in the LGBTQ vote from GLAAD’s “State of LGBTQ Voters Poll”, released on October 1st:

  • The October poll showed 88% of LGBTQ Americans were registered to vote, up from 80% reported in January, the same number in GLAAD’s post-election poll conducted in November.
  • In October, 92% of LGBTQ registered voters said they planned to vote- the GLAAD exit poll showed 93% of LGBTQ registered voters voted.
  • The October poll showed 74% of LGBTQ voters supported Vice President Biden, 17% for President Trump. GLAAD’s post-election poll showed 81% of LGBTQ registered voters ended up voting for President-elect Biden, 14% for President Trump.

METHODOLOGY: GLAAD’s 2020 Post-election Poll

GLAAD’s findings represent the results of a survey conducted by Pathfinder Opinion Research from November 9 - 14, 2020 among 800 LGBTQ adults in the United States.  Interviews were conducted online utilizing a national research panel. Respondents were selected to represent the national LGBT population based on demographic estimates published by the Williams Institute and weighted by gender, age, race, education, and geographic region based on Williams Institute data. Within this sample of LGBTQ adults is a subset of registered voters (n=707) and registered voters who affirmed voting in the Presidential election (n=654). For this survey, the overall credibility interval (a theoretical margin of error for non-probability samples) is ±3.5%.