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LGBT voters may make difference in close election

Gay vote shifts in Logo TV pre-election poll

New York, NY — In what political observers see as an historically close election heading into the campaign's final weekend, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) voters are breaking even more toward President Barack Obama in a new pre-election poll released by Logo TV and conducted by Harris Interactive. 

In the online survey completed October 23–28, 2012, following the third presidential debate, 72% of LGBT voters now report their initial support for the re-election of President Barack Obama, up 7% from Logo TV's benchmark poll conducted by Harris Interactive August 10-15, 2012, prior to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. In this new poll, Mitt Romney receives support from 20% of LGBT voters, statistically the same support he received in the pre-conventions poll of 21%. When the LGBT vote is looked at with those who "lean" toward one candidate or the other, Obama's margin over Romney increases from +44 in the August benchmark (67%-23%) to +53 now (73%-20%). This contrasts with the national vote, in which Obama's lead over Romney, including leaners, moved from +6 lead (48%-42%) before the conventions to -2 deficit (43%-45%) immediately following the debates.

Logo TV's pre-election poll will guide conversations for the network's second election special, "NewNowNext Vote with Wanda Sykes" which premieres Monday, November 5, 2012, at 10:30 PM ET/PT on Logo TV.

While attention surrounding the two national conventions highlighted each party's platform on issues most relevant to LGBT Americans, the three presidential debates and the vice presidential debate included no questions about LGBT-specific issues.

Lisa Sherman, General Manager and Executive Vice President of Logo TV said, "The headline from our earlier poll is the growing consensus of support for LGTB equality. LGBT issues are no longer as controversial or divisive as in previous elections. What this pre-election poll confirms is that LGBT voters and their allies will reward candidates who support their issues, and in close elections, may determine the outcome."

While the economy and jobs/unemployment remained the top two issues of concern to LGBT Americans in the pre-election poll as they were in the pre-conventions poll, abortion and gay rights saw increases in the percentage of LGBT voters selecting these as the top issues. The percentage of LGBT voters saying abortion and reproductive health issues were most important in determining their vote climbed from 3% to 10%. The percentage of LGBT voters who said gay rights in general were most important also grew from 9% to 12%.

"LGBT voters have long supported these issues and understand that the issues of privacy and bodily autonomy found in reproductive rights also are central to LGBT rights," said Dr. Kenneth Sherrill, Professor of Political Science at Hunter College, CUNY. Sherrill added, "The attention paid to contraception and rape exceptions for abortion by Republican candidates around the country has reinforced LGBT voters' role in a broader coalition for social justice."

David Goldstein, Research Manager at Harris Interactive, put the 2012 Logo TV polls in a broader context saying, "Within the last two presidential election cycles we've seen gay rights go from a wedge issue that drove Republican strategies to divide the electorate, to a net-plus for candidates from both political parties who support gay rights. The importance of this political transformation cannot be understated as the story of the 2012 election is written. LGBT voters, their issues, and their allies are well positioned to make a significant difference in many close races."

This survey was conducted a week before Election Day and therefore shouldn't be seen as a prediction of the final outcome of the election.

The complete Harris Interactive pre-election polling memo can be found online at NewNowNext.com/Vote.

The complete Harris Interactive pre-conventions polling memo can be found online at NewNowNext.com/Vote.

Survey Methodology

The survey was conducted online in the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Logo TV between October 23-28, 2012. The survey included 500 U.S. residents from the general population and 488 U.S. LGBT adults. Qualified respondents were U.S. residents who were 18 years or older, registered to vote, and were absolutely certain that they will vote in the 2012 presidential election or have already voted. The benchmark survey was conducted online from August 10-15, 2012 with 1,387 US adults from the general population absolutely certain or very likely to vote, and 1,190 LGBT US adults absolutely certain or very likely to vote. For both surveys, data were weighted to be representative of the U.S. adult general population and U.S. adult LGBT population using targets obtained from the Current Population Survey (general population) and past Harris Poll findings and the latest academic research (LGBT population). No estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
 
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