Donald Trump on Sunday celebrated a survey finding 45 percent of gay-identified men are planning to vote for him in the 2020 election, published this week by the gay dating app Hornet.
“Great!” Trump tweeted on Sunday, retweeting a Newsweek article highlight the survey.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2020
The survey, which sparked interest on social media and Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, “falls short of providing an accurate picture of the LGBTQ electorate,” experts in online polling told the Washington Blade.
Jason Turcotte, an associate professor of communication at Cal Poly Pomona, said the survey produced “an interesting finding,” but at the same time is “unlikely to be representative of the broader LGBTQ community.”
“To hold up this poll as evidence that the LGBTQ community is somewhat split on its support for the presidential candidates is like someone saying the users of Farmers Only represent the ideological spectrum of all farmers or that Christian Mingle users represent the ideological spectrum of all Christians,” Turcotte said. “To tout a Hornet poll as evidence of LGBTQ support for Trump is clickbaity, sloppy journalism.”
According to Hornet’s survey, American users of the gay media app Hornet — which allows users to “sting” potential matches to signal interest in engagement — were split among the candidates they’re backing in the 2020 election.
Of the 1,200 American men surveyed in a sample of 10,000 Hornet users worldwide, 51 percent said they support Joe Biden in the upcoming election, while 45 percent acknowledged they are gay men backing Trump, according to a Hornet blog post.
Hornet did not publish demographic information on the men.
“Based on the larger sample of 10,000 Hornet users worldwide, support for Trump among gay people is lower: Only 34 percent of gay men support Donald Trump, while 66 percent support Democratic nominee Biden,” The Blade notes. “Despite questions surrounding the survey, the results were cited on social media as evidence the LGBTQ community is veering away from its long support of the Democratic Party by backing Trump. The Log Cabin Republicans media project Outspoken tweeted out the survey Tuesday, as did Brandon Straka, who’s gay and a founder of the Walk Away movement.”
Experts took issue with the vagaries of the Hornet survey, including “lack of information on certain demographics, such as age and region. Turcotte said that demographic information would be crucial in ascertaining the accuracy of the Hornet survey results, as well as fine-tuning the results among different categories of men.”
“Depending on where Hornet users reside, the results could be quite skewed,” Turcotte said. “The app could also be less popular among younger voters, which tend to lean liberal. It’s impossible to evaluate the credibility of a poll that lacks transparency about its sample size and methodology.”
Turcotte also took issue with the Hornet survey allowing respondents to answer anonymously, which he said could lead to false results.
“The anonymity factor of apps also threatens the credibility of such a poll,” Turcotte said. “Users of apps can misrepresent their age or identities. Apps that allow for a cloak of anonymity could appeal more to conservative-leaning users who prefer to occupy anonymous spaces because of work, home or community environments that are less accepting of the LGBTQ community.”
According to a Morning Consult poll in June, almost a quarter of LGBTQ Republicans have a favorable opinion of Joe Biden and 12 percent said they’d vote for him.
Based on 2016 exit polls, LGBTQ people largely backed Hillary Clinton over Trump. A total of 78 percent backed the Democratic candidate, compared to the 14 percent of the vote won by Trump.