Joe Biden wouldn’t have won the US election if he didn’t have the backing of LGBT+ voters, new analysis has found.
The share of voters identifying as LGBT+ was higher this year than in any previous election and their overwhelming support for Biden was crucial to his victory, according to data from the AP VoteCast poll.
An analysis of this data by three political science researchers showed that Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nevada all would have been lost to Donald Trump if not for queer people.
“Had LGBT+ voters stayed home, Trump might well have won the 2020 presidential election,” they told the Washington Post.
“When races are close, LGBT+ Americans, who tend to vote in high numbers and have been reliable Democratic supporters, can make the difference in favour of Democratic candidates.
“With the number of people openly identified as LGBT+ steadily growing, LGBT+ voters may well help determine future elections.”
The AP’s poll was able to provide state-level results for cis het voters, which allowed the researchers to work out the percentage of LGBT+ people who voted for Biden.
Nationwide, 73 per cent of queer Americans voted for Biden while 25 per cent voted for Trump, despite the strong support the president professed to have from the LGBT+ community.
In the swing states of Wisconsin, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, the share of Democratic votes among the queer populations was close to the national average – 70 per cent, 73 per cent, and 78 per cent respectively.
But in Georgia and Arizona, 89 and 88 per cent of LGBT+ people voted for Biden, much higher than the national average and enough to tip the scales blue in those states.
“Why so many?” the researchers asked. They believe younger voters were a big reason for the boost, as a recent Gallup poll found 8.2 per cent of millennials identify as LGBT+ compared to only 2.4 per cent of boomers.
“These young generations appear to be showing up to vote,” they said, noting that this was the first presidential election many were old enough to do so – and they certainly made sure their voices were heard.