Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) conducted an LGBT community poll on Feb 7-10, 2016 of 563 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens of the United States. All survey participants indicated that they are registered to vote in the United States, and plan to vote in the 2016 presidential elections. Participation was from 46 states.
When asked which of the Democratic party presidential candidates would be “the most supportive of LGBT civil rights,” the results were relatively split between the top two candidates: 31% selected Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton came in at 25%. 37% indicated that the two candidates are equally supportive, 5% are not sure, and 2% indicated that neither candidate is supportive of LGBT civil rights.
When asked which of the Republican party presidential candidates would be “the most supportive of LGBT civil rights,” a very different picture emerges; 73% indicated that none of the Republican candidates are supportive of LGBT civil rights; 6% selected John Kasich; 4% Donald Trump, and the remaining candidates received 2% or less.
Participants were asked, “When choosing a President, how important is it to you that the candidate shares the following views on important issues facing Americans today?” Of the 18 issues presented, civil rights issues were in the top categories;
- 98% indicated that “supporting LGBT civil rights” was very or somewhat important
- 98% indicated that “nominating LGBT supportive Supreme Court candidates” is very or somewhat important.
- 96% of LGBTs indicated that “addressing racism/racial inequality in the U.S.” was very or somewhat important.
- These civil rights issues were equally important as improving the economy at 98% importance.
However, conservative issues garnered little support among the LGBT community:
- 89% indicated that “reducing or eliminating abortions” is not an important view of their preferred candidate, or is a view they disagree with.
- 87% indicated that “repealing the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare” is not an important view of their preferred candidate, or is a view they disagree with.
- 72% indicated that “protecting gun ownership rights” is not an important view of their preferred candidate, or is a view they disagree with.
- 59% indicated that “stopping illegal immigration to the U.S.” is not an important view of their preferred candidate, or is a view they disagree with.
In the final section, survey participants were asked, “Which candidate would you vote for, if the If election were to be held today?”
- Hillary Clinton received 48% of the vote
- Bernie Sanders 41%
- Donald Trump 2%
- John Kasich 1%
- Marco Rubio 1%
- Undecided 4%
- All other candidates received less than 1% of the vote
When asked, “In which ways have you supported or do you intend to support your preferred presidential candidate?” 46% indicated that they have donated or would donate directly to candidate’s campaign, 46% forwarded or will forward social media, 24% have attended or plan to attend a rally or event, and 14% have volunteered or plan to volunteer to support their preferred candidate.
“What is striking in this research is how little support the current group of Republican candidates have among the LGBT community in the 2016 presidential elections. Unless something changes, the party may largely forfeit about 5% of adults in the United States to the Democrats, which can cause important swings in tight elections. Republicans perhaps could connect with LGBTs on issue like the economy, taxation and influence of government in private lives, but instead have chosen policies not supportive of LGBT Americans,” said David Paisley, Senior Research Director at Community Marketing & Insights.
The study was conducted by Community Marketing & Insights (CMI), which has been conducting LGBT consumer research for more than 20 years. Their practice includes online surveys, focus groups, in-depth interviews and advisory boards in the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.
CMI’s research panel of over 70,000 LGBTs was recruited over a twenty-year period from more than 300 LGBT media, events and non-profit organizations. This means that the results summarized here are representative of LGBT consumers who are “out” and who interact within the LGBT community.