A majority of American voters are “enthusiastic” or “comfortable” with a gay or lesbian president, according to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.
68 percent of voters had positive reactions to a gay or lesbian candidate, with 54 percent saying they were “comfortable” with the idea and 14 percent saying they were “enthusiastic.”
Public opinion has significantly shifted in the last few years. In 2006, only 5 percent said they were “enthusiastic” and 38 percent were “comfortable,” while 34 percent said they were “very uncomfortable” and 19 percent had “reservations” about the idea.
Pete Buttigieg, the first openly gay candidate for president, was originally seen as the presidential underdog because of his political experience being limited to being mayor of South Bend, Indiana. However, after announcing his campaign raised $7 million in its first fundraising quarter, he looks to be more of a contender.
While Buttigieg, a millennial himself, has claimed he represents the younger voting bloc, support for a gay or lesbian president isn’t just limited to youth.
While voters under 35 who were enthusiastic or comfortable with a gay candidate increased by 28 percentage points between 2006 and 2019 (47 percent to 75 percent), voters 65 and older also now support the idea at a higher rate than 13 years ago (with 56 percent now being enthusiastic or comfortable compared to 31 percent in 2006).
After the rainbow wave that swept over November’s midterm elections, Buttigieg winning the Democratic candidacy is not out of the question. Buttigieg came in third behind seasoned Democrats Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders in a poll from the key primary state of Iowa.