The two major news coalitions monitoring the vote count in the presidential election both declared Democrat Joe Biden as the winner Saturday morning (Nov. 7). Meanwhile, new data available from precincts with heavily LGBT populations contradict exit poll suggestions about the LGBT vote. The precinct data examined as of deadline suggest LGBT voters set new records in their support for the Democratic presidential candidate and new lows for the Republican candidate.
Heavily LGBT precincts in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco and in the popular LGBT vacation town of Provincetown showed 91 percent or more voters supported the Democratic ticket of Biden and Senator Kamala Harris. Support for Trump ran between two and eight percent.
In the heavily LGBT town of Wilton Manor, Florida, support for Biden ran between 79 and 82 percent; Trump support there fell between 17 and 19 percent.
In five heavily LGBT neighborhoods in Philadelphia, Biden won between 84 and 92 percent of the vote.
Exit poll data from the National Election Pool, used by the New York Times and the major television networks, indicated that, among about 1,100 voters who self-identified as LGBT, only 61 percent supported Biden, 28 percent supported Trump.
The two sets of data were collected very differently, and both could be showing a fair picture of the LGBT vote.
The exit poll data has the benefit of collecting a wide sample of LGBT people, not just those who live in heavily LGBT neighborhoods. It may suffer from the reluctance of LGBT voters to share personal information to a stranger who approaches them outside a voting place in their neighborhood, which may not be heavily LGBT or friendly.
The precinct data is able to capture the trend in heavily LGBT neighborhoods from around the country, but includes the votes of residents in those areas who are not gay often the majority of voters, even in a heavily LGBT neighborhood.
Alphonso David, president of the Human Rights Campaign which endorsed and worked for the Biden-Harris victory, praised the victory Saturday morning, saying, "The future of our democracy and the quest for equality is bright."
"Trump, Pence and anti-equality forces left us with unlawful and regressive policies that have stripped away protections marginalized communities have had for years," said David.
While acknowledging there will be much hard work ahead, David said Biden and Harris are "not just willing to be our allies, but they are true advocates for equality."
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