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With Pete Buttigieg continuing to show strong numbers in the Democratic presidential primary, a new poll has found 70 percent of voters would be open to voting for a gay man as U.S. president.
However, that same poll reveals a majority of voters — 52 percent — believe the United States isn’t ready to elected a gay man to the White House.
The Quinnipiac poll, published Tuesday, found 70 percent of voters — including a plurality of Republicans — are willing to vote for a gay president, although 23 percent said they would not and 7 percent said they didn’t know.
For Democrats, 85 percent said they’d be willing to support for gay presidential candidate, although 11 percent said they would not and 4 percent said they didn’t know. For Republicans, 46 percent said they’d vote for a gay president compared to the 45 percent who said they would not and 9 percent said they didn’t know.
Adults between the ages of 18 to 34 were the most likely to say they’d back a gay president. 82 percent said they would, compared to 14 percent who said they wouldn’t and 4 percent who said they didn’t know.
Among Hispanics, 77 percent said they’d be willing to vote for a gay president, compared to 69 percent of white people who said they’d be willing to back a gay candidate and 66 percent of black people.
But the situation changes when voters are asked whether they think the United States is ready for a president. Only 36 percent say that’s the case, compared 53 who say no and 12 percent who say they don’t.
Democrats say the country is ready for a gay president by a margin of 43-49, with 8 percent saying they don’t know, while Republicans say the country is ready for a gay president by a margin of 30-60, with 10 percent saying they don’t know.
Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll, said the findings are both good news and bad news for Buttigieg, an openly gay being taken seriously as a potential Democratic presidential nominee.
“The good news for Mayor Pete Buttigieg is that voters seem ready to accept a gay man as president,” Malloy said. The bad news for Buttigieg is that voters believe it just isn’t going to happen.”
The same poll found former Vice President Joseph Biden is surging among Democrats and voters leaning Democratic, with 38 percent of the vote, followed by 12 percent for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 11 percent for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and 10 percent for Buttigieg.
The poll was conducted from April 26–29 by Quinnipiac University, which surveyed 1,044 voters nationwide with a
margin of error of +/- 3.5 percentage points.
This article originally appeared in the Washington Blade and is made available in partnership with the National LGBT Media Association.