ROCHESTER, N.Y. and WASHINGTON, D.C. — As President Barack Obama focuses his attention on a multitude of critical issues facing the nation today, GLBT adults in the country say they are more optimistic for the future than their heterosexual counterparts. A new national survey conducted online in mid- August by Witeck-Combs Communications and Harris Interactive shows two–thirds (67%) of GLBT adults say that things in the country are going in the right direction, compared to 45 percent of heterosexual adults. This is an increase from June 2009 when 56 percent of GLBT adults said that things were moving in the right direction.
When it comes to their outlook on the economy and their own personal financial situation, GLBT adults also appear somewhat more confident then their heterosexual counterparts. A majority (57%) of GLBT adults said they expect the economy to improve in the coming year, compared to 45 percent of heterosexual adults. In the next 6 months just looking at gay and lesbian adults, 31 percent expect their household’s financial condition to be better, compared with 24 percent of heterosexual adults. The survey also found that more than two-thirds (69%) of GLBT adults would rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing in handling the economy as excellent or pretty good, while only 38 percent of heterosexual adults agree.
The new nationwide survey of 2,709 U.S. adults, (ages 18 and over), of whom 378 self identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (which includes an over-sample of lesbian and gay adults), was conducted online between August 10 and 18, 2009, by Harris Interactive, a global market research and consulting firm, in conjunction with Witeck-Combs Communications, Inc., a strategic public relations and marketing communications firm with special expertise in the GLBT market.
While Americans are closely monitoring all aspects of the economy, GLBT adults continue to express more confidence in what the future may hold. Four out of five (82%) GLBT adults said they trust in President Barack Obama to do what is right for the American economy, compared with 60% of heterosexual adults. Nearly seven out of ten (69%) GLBT adults said they are confident that the White House and the Administration will produce policies to help fix the economic crisis, while a slender majority (51%) of heterosexual adults agree. Also, a majority (64%) of GLBT adults said they think the stimulus plan passed earlier this year has been successful, compared with 39% heterosexual adults. More than half (53%) of GLBT adults, contrasted with 30% of heterosexuals adults, rate the overall job President Barack Obama is doing in handling employment/unemployment as excellent or pretty good.
In contrast – when critical of the President’s leadership, one-third (35%) of heterosexuals adults said they blame President Barack Obama for the country’s economic problems, yet only 13% of GLBT adults agree. Also, one fourth (27%) of heterosexual adults said they have no trust at all in President Barack Obama to do what is right for the American economy; only 7% of GLBT adults agree.
“It’s not surprising to see the higher marks that GLBT 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 GLBT voters specifically such as gays serving openly in the military, or employment nondiscrimination. As we see our way through this difficult economic climate, we know that GLBT households are feeling the same stress and sacrifices as other Americans. Nonetheless, the optimism and confidence shown by GLBT households is very telling, and policymakers and business leaders should take strong note.”