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Almost half of Americans don’t think the country is ready for a gay president

Reiss Smith October 30, 2019
Pete Buttigieg pulling a sad face

Pete Buttigieg wants to become America's first openly gay president. (Getty)

As Pete Buttigieg continues his campaign to become the first openly gay US president, a new poll has suggested that America isn’t ready for an LGBT+ commander in chief.

According to the Politico/Morning Consult poll, 44 percent of voters don’t think that the country is ready for an openly gay president, with 40 percent saying the opposite.

But for many, the problem seems to be a societal one rather than any personal prejudice. When asked if they themselves could accept a gay president, 50 percent answered with either definitely or probably, compared to 37 percent who said definitely or probably not.

The results showed that Buttigieg’s sexuality “may be an issue for some voters”, according to Morning Consult’s vice president Tyler Sinclair.

“Notably, 58 per cent of Republicans, 32 per cent of independents and 22 per cent of Democrats say they aren’t ready for a gay or lesbian president,” he continued, per Politico.

“The comparative figures not ready for a female president are 36 per cent of Republicans, 15 per cent of independents and 8 per cent of Democrats.”

Pete Buttigieg trailing Biden, Warren and Sanders in Democrat race.

Whether America is or isn’t ready for a gay president may prove moot, as Buttigeig is currently trailing three other candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination.

According to a RealClearPolitics polling average on Wednesday, October 30, Buttigieg has 7.6 per cent support among Democrats, a full 20 points behind the frontrunner Joe Biden.

At 28 per cent, Biden is currently ahead of Elizabeth Warren (21.7) and Bernie Sanders (17.3).

Mayor Pete not connecting with lesbian or black voters.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend Indiana, faces an uphill battle among lesbians and the black community in particular, according to recent reports.

On October 23 reports emerged that a focus group for Buttigieg’s campaign had found that his sexuality could be a “barrier” for black voters.

Researchers quizzed 24 undecided black Democrats in Columbia, South Carolina, and found that a number of men “seemed deeply uncomfortable even discussing” his gayness.

A report added: “Their preference is for his sexuality to not be front and centre.”

Back in August, Politico suggested that there is a “collision of goals and ideals in the community of lesbian political activists this year”. 

“It feels like a slap in the face to just go directly to the white gay guy, when for decades you’ve been trying to elect a woman and it didn’t happen last time,” said one lesbian Democrat.

“If Pete Buttigieg is elected it won’t feel like a vindication of Hillary Clinton. If a woman is elected, it will.”

More: Democratic presidential nomination, Pete Buttigieg, US Election 2020

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