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LGBT voters didn’t sell out anyone

There’s an opinion piece in the Huffington Post alleging that LGBT voters sold out the most vulnerable among us by voting for Trump. The numbers disagree.

In fact, it was the complete opposite. LGBT voters came through, even stronger than in 2012, to support the Democratic presidential candidate and oppose the Republican.

Here are the CNN exit polls showing who voted for whom in 2012 and 2016.

LGBT and minority turnout 2012 and 2016

And here is the LGBT vote from 2000 to 2016:

lgbt exit polls 2000 to 2016

What do those numbers show us?

1. A greater percentage of LGBT voters supported Hillary (78%) in 2016 than supported Obama (76%) in 2012. In contrast, other minorities communities showed a percentage drop in support for Hillary 2016 vs. Obama 2012, and a percentage rise in their support for Trump over Romney.

2. Trump got the lowest percentage of LGBT votes (14%) of any GOP presidential candidate since 2000.

3. Fewer LGBT voters supported Trump (14%) than Latinos supported Trump (29%) or Asians supported Trump (29%).

Before discussing this, let me quote from that Huffington Post piece:

One of many emotions that LGBTQ people are navigating and grappling with is a very distinct and cutting sense of betrayal. Despite repeated attempts by veteran activists, countless writers and influential organizations to warn about the radical dangers for the LGBTQ community under a Trump/Pence administration, 14 percent of our voting community reportedly aligned themselves with the Republican ticket.

And that is a sobering and agonizing reality.

The message sent by the results of the election and subsequent exit polls are not ambiguous: A significant portion of the LGBTQ community prioritized other issues and experiences over the threat that many of the most vulnerable members of our community could face under a Trump presidency.

In fact, when you look at the numbers, the opposite is true. LGBT voters came through for Hillary, and against Trump.

Now, do I think 14% of LGBT people should be voting for Trump? Heck no. No one in our community should be supporting a man who has been so comfortable associating himself with racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and homophobic people and policies. But 14% is a really low number. It’s not that far off from the African-American community support for Trump (8%). And Latinos and Asians voted in much higher percentages for Trump (29%). So I’m not sure we should be singling out the LGBT community.

Suggesting that LGBT voters somehow fell short, when in fact they stepped up to the plate more than many others, is wrong.

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John Aravosis
Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children’s Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O’Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in New York City, and is the cofounder of TimeToResign.com. Bio, article archive.

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