New Poll Reveals Growing Majority Of Americans Are Now On Board With A Gay Presidential Candidate

New Poll Reveals Growing Majority Of Americans Are Now On Board With A Gay Presidential Candidate
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A majority of Americans are in favor of a gay presidential candidate, according to a poll by NBC and the Wall Street Journal.

The poll published in March showed that 68% of Americans do not have issues with a president who identifies as gay or lesbian – with 14% saying they are enthusiastic and 54% saying they are comfortable.

South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, pronounced Boot-edge-edge, is quickly becoming a serious Democratic contender for the 2020 presidential election after his campaign raised $7 million.

The 37-year-old mayor is openly gay and has been married to husband Chasten since last June. Buttigieg's sexuality is not having any negative effects as we head towards 2020 and his popularity begins to surge.

NBC News claims that the favorable numbers are irrelevant to an increasing tolerance for the LGBTQ community among younger voters.

"The share of those under 35 who say they're enthusiastic or comfortable with a gay candidate increased by 28 percentage points between 2006 and now, jumping from 47 percent to 75 percent now."

According to the poll, 58% of those over the age of 65 are either comfortable or enthusiastic about having a gay president, and 75% of those under 35 said they would be comfortable or enthusiastic over a gay president.

Twitter is on board with Buttigieg for president.

Critics are less concerned about his sexual identity but view the candidate's lack of statewide or federal elected experience as more of a liability.

That said, Buttigieg polled ahead of Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and tied in fifth place with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) for fifth place nationally, according to a March Quinnipiac poll.

The Democratic candidate supports universal healthcare, labor unions, universal background checks for all firearms transactions, and the Equality Act – which aims to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that discriminates against the LGBTQ community in employment, housing, public education, and federal funding.

In 2015, he came out in the column of the South Bend Tribune, in which he explained why "coming out matters."

"Today it remains legal in most parts of Indiana (though not South Bend) to fire someone simply for being gay, and bullying still contributes to tragically high suicide rates among LGBT teens."

He continued:

"Putting something this personal on the pages of a newspaper does not come easy. We Midwesterners are instinctively private to begin with, and I'm not used to viewing this as anyone else's business."
"But it's clear to me that at a moment like this, being more open about it could do some good. For a local student struggling with her sexuality, it might be helpful for an openly gay mayor to send the message that her community will always have a place for her."
"And for a conservative resident from a different generation, whose unease with social change is partly rooted in the impression that he doesn't know anyone gay, perhaps a familiar face can be a reminder that we're all in this together as a community."

In addition to positive social media coverage upping his profile, Jennifer Victor, a political scientist at George Mason University, told Vox that Buttigieg already has a lot going for him.

"He's got the swoon factor, the young factor, the honest-to-the-point-of-vulnerable factor, and he's great on the stump."
"By standard measures, he shouldn't be doing that well, but I think American presidential primary politics are well beyond standard measures."

If elected, Buttigieg will not only become the youngest president of the United States, he will also be the first openly gay president.

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