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New poll - Queers more confident than straights
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New poll - Queers more confident than straights

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

LGBT Americans are far more confident in the direction of the country than their straight neighbors, according to a new poll released September 8.

Sixty-seven percent of LGBT adults said that the country was headed in the right direction, in contrast with only 45% of straight respondents. This is a significant increase from June 2009, when only 56% of LGBT respondents expressed confidence in the direction of the country.

While straight respondents were more skeptical of the current direction of the country, the latest polling nevertheless shows a significant turnaround from the situation just before the 2008 presidential election, when almost all national polls showed only 10-12% of respondents saying the country was headed in the right direction.

The new poll was conducted online by Harris Interactive - a global market research and polling company - and Witeck-Combs Communications - a public relations firm with experience in the LGBT market.

The survey included 2,709 US adults, of whom 378 self-identified as LGBT.

The poll did not ask about issues like DOMA or "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," which have strained relations between the Obama administration and LGBT activists, but the numbers do show continued goodwill toward the president in the LGBT community.

Eighty-two percent of LGBT respondents said they trusted Obama to do what is right for the economy, compared to 60% of the straight respondents. Sixty-nine percent of LGBT adults said they are confident the Obama administration will enact policies to fix the economy, compared to 51% of straight people.

Sixty-four percent of LGBT respondents said Obama's stimulus plan had been successful, compared with only 39% of the straight ones.

Fifty-seven percent of LGBT respondents expect the economy to improve in the coming year, compared to 45% of the straight respondents. Thirty-one percent on the LGBT side expected an economic improvement within six months, compared to 24% on the straight side.

On the downside, 35% of the straight respondents blame Obama for the country's economic problems, but only 13% of the LGBT respondents agree. 27% of straight people had no trust whatsoever in Obama to do what is right for the US economy, but only 7% of the LGBT people polled expressed no confidence in the President.

Overall, 75% of the LGBT people polled rated Obama's job performance as excellent or pretty good, while only 49% of straight people agreed.

On a range of issues - from handling the threat of terrorist attack, to health care, to the federal budget - LGBT respondents took a much more favorable view of the president than straight people did.

Only on Social Security and the federal budget did the administration fail to win approval of a majority of LGBT respondents, but even on these issues the favorable/unfavorable split was much narrower than among straight respondents.

On Social Security, 52% of the LGBT people polled rated Obama's performance as fair or poor, and 71% of straight people agreed. On the budget, 59% of the LGBT respondents rated Obama poorly, while a whopping 79% of straight people agreed.

"It's not surprising to see the higher marks that LGBT citizens give to the president and his administration; last year's exit polls, for example, suggest that at least three out of four Gay and Lesbian votes were cast for President Obama," said Wesley Combs, President of Witeck-Combs Communications.

"Keep in mind, this survey also addressed overarching national issues, and not policy matters affecting LGBT voters specifically such as Gays serving openly in the military, or employment nondiscrimination," Combs continued. "As we see our way through this difficult economic climate, we know that LGBT households are feeling the same stress and sacrifices as other Americans. Nonetheless, the optimism and confidence shown by LGBT households is very telling, and policymakers and business leaders should take strong note."

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