New Study Finds LGBT Vote Was Decisive in Several Close Races in 2014 Election

A new study released today by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that Virginia Senator Mark Warner and Vermont Governor Peter Chumlin would have both been defeated by their Republican challengers in the 2014 election if LGB people had not voted.

“LGB voters are one of the most consistently Democratic voting blocks in the nation,” said Williams Institute Public Opinion Project Director Andrew R. Flores. “When Democrats are elected by close margins, overwhelming support for their candidacies from LGB voters plays a decisive role in explaining their victories as was the case in this midterm election.”

Exit polls from the 2014 US midterm election suggest that 4% of the electorate identified as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB), representing the highest recorded LGB turnout in a midterm election since 1998. Among LGB voters, exit polls indicate that 75% supported Democratic congressional candidates in this election.

The report uses national congressional exit polling data in Senate and gubernatorial elections where the margin of victory for a Democratic candidate was less than the estimated percentage of LGB voters in the election.

Had LGB voters stayed home on Election Day, analyses suggest that:
• Republican Ed Gillespie would be the incoming Senator from Virginia instead of incumbent Democrat Mark Warner.
• Republican Scott Milne would be governor-elect of Vermont instead of incumbent Democrat Peter Chumlin.
• Gubernatorial races in Colorado and Connecticut would have been too close to call and may have gone to a recount.

The full report entitled, “LGB Vote 2014,” and co-authored by Williams Institute Public Opinion Project Director Andrew R. Flores and Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Williams Institute Research Director Gary J. Gates is available here.