New Human Rights Campaign Exit Poll: LGBTQ, Equality Voters Strongly Supported Joe Biden for President

by Wyatt Ronan

Today, Human Rights Campaign released new 2020 exit polling conducted by HRC and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research. According to our findings, LGBTQ and Equality Voters strongly supported Joe Biden for President, assuredly providing him with the crucial boost he needed in swing states across the country.

Over the last three elections, the share of LGBTQ voters and Equality Voters has continued to increase, solidifying our community and our allies as a key rising constituency that can make or break a politician’s success. Our issues matter, our votes matter and politicians around the country have taken notice. This development did not occur in a single cycle, but rather through sustained efforts by the Human Rights Campaign to identify and improve turnout amongst these groups. Now with pro-equality control restored in the White House, the future of our community and our movement is bright.”

Alphonso David, Human Rights Campaign President


LGBTQ and Equality Voter Turn Out

According to the poll, 37% of general election voters were Equality Voters - voters who prioritize LGBTQ issues at the ballot box - versus 29% of the electorate in the 2018 midterm elections, a growth of 8% in just two years. That significant increase in turnout assuredly gave Joe Biden the boost he needed in crucial battleground states across the country.


In 2016, HRC developed the Equality Voter model to identify 57 million voters across the country who prioritize LGBTQ issues at the ballot box. In 2017, we announced a significant expansion of our efforts in key target states to make sure we built the relationships with leaders and voters on the ground to make sure our community and these Equality Voter allies turned out. And that effort quickly bore fruit in the 2018 midterm elections, with Equality Voters making up 29% of the entire electorate, outpacing White Evangelical Voter (26%) for the first time on record. This year, we again saw significant growth, an increase of 8% of the electorate in just one election cycle. We anticipate that growth continuing in the coming years as positive opinions of LGBTQ equality are cemented in the minds of voters, and leaders like Donald Trump and many in the Republican party continue to get further and further behind public opinion.

LGBTQ Issues and the 2020 Electorate

Equality issues —standing up for immigrants, people of color, and LGBTQ people—played a massive role in Joe Biden’s 81 million vote total. Biden beat Trump 51 to 47 percent in the popular vote. Among Biden voters, equality issues rank second as the leading reason to support the president-elect and are the number one issue motivating voters to oppose Donald Trump. At the same time, attacks on the LGBTQ community had little impact. Anti-LGBTQ operatives launched aggressive attacks on the transgender community, alleging falsely that Biden supports gender confirmation surgeries for children. That issue ranks dead last as a reason to oppose Joe Biden.


LGBTQ and Equality Voter Opinions

Despite some reports, LGBTQ voters did not waver in their opposition to Trump. According to HRC/GQR’s poll, 83 percent of LGBTQ voters supporting Biden, much closer to the historic norm as well as other surveys like GLAAD (81% supporting Biden) and AP Vote Cast (73% supporting Biden)

The 2020 Edison exit survey purported to show Joe Biden winning only 63 percent of LGBTQ voters. This finding is implausible. In the Edison poll, New York is only marked as having 4% LGBTQ voters, a number that is highly doubtful given the national figure of 7% turnout and a significant portion of the LGBTQ community living in the state. This underweighting of New York is among numerous factors that likely weighted the horserace figures towards Trump.

Among Equality Voters, 79% supported Joe Biden with only 19% supporting President Trump a margin of 60%.


The Equality Act

Protections for LGBTQ people and the Equality Act remains high among almost all demographic groups, increasing in support since 2018. According to the poll, 70% of 2020 general election respondents supported the Equality Act with 53% strongly supporting the bill, an increase of 5% and 3% respectively. Only 21% of voters opposed the legislation with 15% strongly opposing the bill, a decrease of 4% and 3% respectively.


The Human Rights Campaign, alongside Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, completed a poll of 1,400 2020 general election voters, including an oversample of voters in the Sunbelt (Florida, Texas, Arizona and Georgia). The margin of error unless otherwise listed in the memo was +/- 2.83%

For a full breakdown of the polling conducted by the Human Rights Campaign and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, click here.

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