Donald Trump Said “Ask The Gays,” So We Did — With This Poll

We surveyed LGBT Americans, in partnership with the polling firm Ipsos, in a first-of-its-kind poll on guns, Islam, and immigration in the aftermath of Orlando.

A new BuzzFeed News–Ipsos survey of LGBT Americans finds Donald Trump’s policy proposals following the Orlando shooting have gained little traction.

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The poll, which surveyed 548 LGBT Americans across the country between June 27 and July 7, asked respondents how their views on “laws temporarily banning Muslims from entering the United States” had changed since the Orlando shooting on June 12.

Ben King/BuzzFeed News/Ipsos

Thirty-eight percent said they had grown less supportive of a temporary ban, while 28% said they had grown more supportive.*

Ipsos found the general population felt roughly the opposite in a nationally representative survey run at the same time. In that survey, support for the proposed ban has grown by about the same margin.

Trump's call for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States” following the attacks in San Bernadino and Paris has been a defining part of his presidential campaign.

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He claimed in the days after the Orlando shootings that the incident had proved him right and would bring him LGBT support. (Omar Mateen, born in the U.S. to Afghan immigrant parents, did pledge allegiance to ISIS just before his attack but had appeared to be troubled for years beforehand.)

“[I] appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism” Trump tweeted after the attack, and said in a June 15 speech, “ask the gays ... Who’s your friend? Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton?”

Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!

Trump argued he was the better candidate for LGBT people because “radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay, and anti-American.” But LGBT Americans appear to be far less worried about Islam than Americans as a whole.

Ben King/BuzzFeed News/Ipsos

Though 52% of LGBT respondents said they considered Islam to be either a major or minor threat, 41% said they considered Islam to be “no threat” at all. In comparison, 68% of people in the survey of the general population said they considered Islam to be a threat.**

Trump also argued after the shooting that his support for gun rights actually could prevent another attack like the one in Orlando.

Darren Mccollester / Getty Images

“If you had some guns in that club the night that this took place, if you had guns on the other side, you wouldn’t have had the tragedy that you had,” Trump said on the Monday after the shooting. (Trump did not address the fact that there was one armed security guard on duty when the shooting took place.)

But an overwhelming number of LGBT people disagreed.

Ben King/BuzzFeed News/Ipsos

When asked whether “the Orlando massacre could have been prevented if the bar patrons or employees had been armed,” the respondents answering “no” beat out those who answered “yes” by 49% to 30%, a difference of 19 points. (The remainder responded “don’t know.”)

LGBT Americans also overwhelmingly saw widespread access to weapons as a danger. Seventy-eight percent of LGBT respondents said they believed “Americans having open access to guns” is a threat; nearly half of LGBT Americans said this was a “major threat.” Nearly as many said also said they had become more supportive of “laws making it harder to purchase guns” following the shootings — 55% of LGBT respondents said they had become “much more supportive” of such laws.

That doesn’t mean that LGBT community completely rejects guns.

Ben King/BuzzFeed News/Ipsos

The BuzzFeed News–Ipsos poll found that LGBT people own firearms at roughly the same rate as Americans more generally; about 1 in 4 reported personally owning a gun. Seven out of the 548 LGBT people surveyed said they had purchased a weapon following the shooting.

Some of the gaps between the opinions expressed by LGBT people in this poll and Americans as a whole might be explained by the fact that this sample skews more Democratic than the overall population.

Among LGBT respondents, 55% said they consider themselves Democrats or lean Democratic — just 15% said they are Republican or lean Republican. Among the sample of the general population, 44% said they are Democrats or lean Democratic and 28 are Republican or lean Republican.

This survey did not ask how respondents intended to vote, but it did ask respondents to choose between descriptions of two candidates: Among LGBT respondents, 72% said they were more likely to support a “candidate who supports gun control, supports open immigration policies and has a record of supporting LGBT rights,” while 29% said they preferred a “candidate who says LGBT people are safer with broad gun rights and more secure borders, but who is also seeking support from religious conservatives.”

*The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the LGBT poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 5 points.

**The general population poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3 points.