A poll of over 95,000 potential Democratic voters conducted by Morning Consult gives valuable insight for members of the party days before the Iowa caucus commences. 17,836 of those voters – 12% – identify as LGBTQ, and the results reveal how each Presidential candidate is shaping up with the demographic.
Conducted between January 20 and January 26, the poll shows that LGBTQ-identifying people were found to be more liberal and younger than other demographics, signifying they are a growing and vital part of the party’s future. “LGBTQ voters are roughly twice as likely to identify as ‘very liberal’ and to be between the ages of 18 and 29”, the summation reads.
Amongst the primary candidates, 34% of LGBTQ voters reported that they support Sen. Bernie Sanders. This is more support from this demographic than any other candidate, and larger than any other candidate’s strength with any other identity.
Second among LGBTQ voters was Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 19%. Former Vice President Joe Biden was slightly behind with 18%, and out candidate Pete Buttigieg, the only candidate who is within this demographic, had approximately 12% of the share. Behind Buttigieg was former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg with 7%. Bloomberg has surged of late and is recovering from below-zero support with LGBTQ voters before this month. Last is Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who has never had more than 5% of support amongst this demographic.
Morning Consult attributes Sanders’ huge popularity amongst LGBTQ voters due to his “long record of support for gay rights” as the mayor of Burlington, Vermont and as Senator, noting that he supported marriage equality three years before Biden did. They also attribute it to the sway in the voter’s ideology to the left, which works in favor of the Independent politician.
The results also provide insight of the demographics of each candidate’s support base. Of voters who have Buttigieg as their first choice for the nomination, 21% are LGBTQ-identifying, more than any other candidate. On the other hand, Biden has the least amount of LGBTQ voters in his base with 7%. The “demographic makeup helps explain why Biden underperforms among LGBTQ primary voters, compared to his share of the overall primary electorate,” the summarizing report reads.
This means that while Sanders has more LGBTQ voters in his corner within the party, voters that support Buttigieg are more likely to identify as LGBTQ compared to others. While Biden is one of the leading contenders in the primary, his supporters are mostly heterosexual or cisgender, not LGBTQ.
Looking to November, Morning Consult also found in a separate poll conducted with Politico that voters view a LGBTQ candidate as having “a difficult time” defeating Donald Trump, more than any other candidate’s identity.