Why the LGBT vote isn’t so clear cut — in three charts

While LGBT Americans are mostly in lockstep when it comes to their views about government and politics, there are a few key differences between bisexuals, and gay men and lesbians, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

In short, bisexuals lean more toward being political independents compared to gay men and lesbians, who identify more closely with the Democratic Party. The poll, released Thursday, was the first survey Pew conducted among LGBT adults.


(Joshua Trujillo/AP)

While clear majorities of gay men and lesbians identify as Democrats, bisexuals are split. While 44 percent of bisexuals say they are Democrats, nearly the same amount (40 percent) say they are political independents. By comparison, only 21 percent of gay men and 28 percent of lesbians identify as independents.

And while gay men, lesbians and bisexuals all hold broadly favorable views of the Democratic Party and mostly unfavorable views of the Republican Party, it's not as one-sided when it comes to the latter demographic. Compared to gay men and lesbians, a larger percentage of bisexuals hold an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party. The same is true when it comes to viewing the GOP favorably.

This is all especially noteworthy considering that a plurality of the LGBT population is bisexual, according to the survey.

In closing, it's also worth noting that when it comes to voting, LGBT Americans participate at about the same rate as the public as a whole. About three-quarters of LGBT adults say they always or nearly always vote. So we're talking about a segment of the population that is pretty active when it comes to politics.

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.

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Sean Sullivan · June 14, 2013

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