With the 2012 presidential election approaching, Logo commissioned a study with both LGBT and general population voters for a temperature check on their priorities when it comes to voting, as well as how candidate positioning on issues related to gay rights impacts their voting decisions. The findings reveal that LGBT and general population voters are coming together – that in the past five years, there has been a marked, progressive shift in public opinion over same-sex marriage.
LGBT and general population voters share the same priorities on the issues that will impact their vote.
For both groups of voters, the top three issues impacting their 2012 presidential election vote are the economy, unemployment/jobs and healthcare.
About half of the general population believes support for LGBT issues reflects positively on the candidates.
- 49% are more likely to vote for a candidate that supports legislation to define and prevent bullying of LGBT students.
- 48% are more likely to vote for a candidate that supports laws that prohibit workplace discrimination of gays and lesbians.
- 41% are more likely to vote for a candidate that supports gays openly serving in the military.
There has been a significant shift in public opinion regarding same-sex marriage.
The majority of general population voters support legalizing same-sex marriage, marking a major shift in opinion on this issue in the last five years.
- While less than a third of this group (31%) supported same-sex marriage five years ago, today more than half (52%) are in support of it.
- General population voters were more likely to oppose than support same-sex marriage, a trend which has now reversed.
According to LGBT voters, LGBT organizations deserve more credit for the progress of gay rights than President Obama.
- 58% say that the progress of gay rights is all/mostly due to the work of LGBT organizations.
- 28% say that progress has had barely/nothing to do with Obama.
Gay Rights, Voting and Partisanship
While the majority of LGBT voters (67%) favor Obama over Mitt Romney, a candidate’s positioning on issues relating to gay rights can still impact their voting decisions.
- 1-in-5 LGBT voters would be more likely to vote for Governor Romney if he shared the same position as Obama on issues related to gay rights.
- 1-in-4 LGBT voters would be more likely to vote for a Republican if the GOP held the same position as the Democratic Party on issues related to gay rights.
The significant shift in the general population’s attitudes toward gay rights suggests that aligning a brand with LGBT issues does not carry the stigma it may have five years ago, and thus, there should be less apprehension about alienating consumers and viewers.
This study was conducted by Harris Interactive and based on an online survey of 1,367 U.S. residents from the general population and 1,190 U.S. LGBT adults from August 10-15, 2012. Qualified respondents were 18 years or older, registered to vote and were certain that they will vote in the 2012 presidential election.
Click here for the full results of the study.
Michelle Auguste is senior director of research for Logo.