Over the last few days, a survey finding that 45% of gay men plan to vote for Donald Trump in the upcoming election, has been circulating. It has been passed around social media, and even went on to become the inspiration point for a package on Tucker Carlson in which a gay Republican disclosed that many staffers of Republican politicians on Capitol Hill are gay — according to him they are closeted about their political affiliations outside of work. But Sunday that study got attention from the Tweeter-in-Chief himself, Mr. Donald J. Trump.
"Great!" he wrote, quote tweeting a Newsweek article about the study. But given Trump's long history of tweeting and otherwise surfacing manipulated media — so much so that Twitter has had to step in multiple times to label his tweets as such — and his penchant for outright lies, its important to take a critical eye to the study. And when you do, it doesn't hold up.
The study was conducted by Hornet, a social media network and dating app for queer men. The surveyed their own users — which could explain if you've never heard of this study before — and got a sampling of just 1,200 men based in the U.S. So yes, they are extrapolating the results they are finding in *checks notes* a dating app that is not, by far, one of the more popular dating apps within the community, to be representative of that community.
According to Hornet, of those 1,200 men, 51 percent said they were voting for Biden while 45% said they were voting for Trump. If you do the math, that's 612 men for Biden and 540 for Trump. And this is supposed to be representative of the larger 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,” Jason Turcotte, an associate professor of communication at Cal Poly Pomona, told Washington Blade of the survey. “To tout a Hornet poll as evidence of LGBTQ support for Trump is clickbaity, sloppy journalism.”
Even Hornet staff are on the same page.
"As with any informal survey like this, the only thing that can truly be extrapolated from Hornet’s data is that 45 percent of those American gay men who took the survey expressed support for Donald Trump,” Stephen Horbelt, an executive editor of the app, said. “I’ve seen outlets attempt to extrapolate voter prediction on behalf of the greater LGBTQ community, which can’t and should not be done. (Ours was a poll of gay, bi and trans men, not the larger queer community.)”