WASHINGTON, DC (November 7, 2018) - Last night Human Rights Campaign (HRC)-backed candidates surged to victory in every corner of the country as millions of LGBTQ voters and allies turned out to pull the emergency brake on this administration and make the difference in many of these razor-thin elections.
Here's more on last night's historic and decisive victories, as well as the HRC's largest expansion and investment in grassroots organizing in our history.
" The wave of victories for pro-equality candidates nationally was a clear rejection of Donald Trump and Mike Pence's dangerous policies and divisive rhetoric.
" Eighteen months ago, the Human Rights Campaign launched HRC Rising to make sure we were organized to resist the attacks of this administration and take back power in these midterms.
" These midterm victories couldn't have come at a more critical time - as LGBTQ people are under constant attack by the Trump-Pence administration - and remain at risk of being fired, evicted, or denied services in a majority of states because of who they are or who they love.
" We've reached a watershed moment in the political history of our movement for LGBTQ equality. For decades, anti-LGBTQ politicians have attacked our community as a tactic to drum up votes, but we've responded by organizing, mobilizing, and building our political power and proving that when politicians come for us, we come for them on Election Day.
" We have elected a pro-equality majority in Congress that has vowed to make the Equality Act a top priority.
Here is a primer about our electoral work, the results, and the Equality Act.
" About 18 months ago, the HRC launched the largest grassroots expansion in its 38-year history and made significant investments - about $26 million over two years - in key races nationwide and in six key states: MI, OH, WI, NV, AZ, and PA.
o We made investments and deployed more than 150 staff to dozens of races across the country; we had staff on the ground in more than three-quarters of the House races that were flipped last night. In the seats that have flipped so far, anti-equality incumbents were defeated in 23 races and will be replaced with pro-equality HRC-endorsed candidates.
o In the six states where we made our most significant investments, we:
" Held US Senate seats in MI, OH, PA, and WI, and picked up NV; AZ is too close to call.
" Netted six US House seats, flipping AZ-02, MI-08, MI-11, PA-05, PA-06, PA-07, and PA-17.
" Re-elected Gov. Tom Wolf in PA, and picked up three new pro-equality governors in MI, NV, and WI - [two of which] went for Donald Trump and 2016 and put him in the White House.
" Picked up three pro-equality attorneys general in MI, NV, and WI.
" HRC's Equality Votes PAC spent $3.2 million to drive turnout through direct mail and digital ads in priority races, including [those of] Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Jacky Rosen, Kyrsten Sinema, Harley Rouda, Mike Levin, Sharice Davids, and Angie Craig. The HRC also invested in six-figure GOTV ads in Georgia and Florida. Through tested digital ads, the HRC was able to reach a total of 4.6 million voters across priority races.
" The HRC helped register more than 32,000 voters and recruited more than 4,200 volunteers, who worked over 8,500 shifts and clocked more than 30,000 volunteer hours. In the critical final four days of the campaign, HRC staff and volunteers in get-out-the-vote efforts alone knocked on more than 80,000 doors and held 36,400 conversations with voters at their doors and by phone on behalf of our endorsed candidates.
" Americans headed to the polls to elect a record number of out LGBTQ candidates, as well as women and people of color.
o Last night included a historic wave of LGBTQ candidates elected to office at all levels - from Jared Polis becoming the first openly gay man elected governor in the US, to Sharice Davids becoming the first out gay Native American woman elected to Congress. Trailblazing Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Gov. Kate Brown were soundly re-elected, and a number of openly LGBTQ candidates were elected and re-elected to Congress. We're continuing to watch one of the most crucial Senate races in the country as the votes are tallied for a candidate HRC has worked tirelessly to elect, Kyrsten Sinema.
The Equality Act
" House leadership has promised to make the Equality Act a top priority in the new Congress.
o The Equality Act is a crucial piece of legislation that would add comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people to our nation's existing civil rights laws. It is HRC's top federal legislative priority in our pursuit of full LGBTQ equality for every American coast-to-coast.
o The Equality Act has 246 bipartisan cosponsors in Congress and 121 corporate cosponsors - which is more than any other piece of LGBTQ legislation in history.
" We're excited to share some new polling with you today courtesy of GQRR that demonstrates an outsized role played by Equality Voters - a group of voters modeled to support LGBTQ issues and instrumental in the HRC's activity this election cycle - in this victory.
o The poll found that equality issues played a significant and direct role in the new Democratic majority. In this survey, and in pre-election qualitative research by the HRC, we found that voters recognize in Trump a significant threat to the values of the country. Trump and Republican messaging at the end of the campaign likely amplified this fear. Among Democratic who voted mostly FOR a candidate (rather than against his or her opponent), the leading reason for their support is 'they stand up for immigrants, people of color, LGBTQ people, and others targeted by Trump and the Republicans.'
o Equality voters and LGBTQ voters, among others, led this victory. Equality voters delivered an 83-to-16% margin for Democrats in this election. In both this and national exit surveys, self-ascribed LGBTQ voters made up around 6% or 7% of the 2018 electorate. In national exit surveys, 81% of LGBTQ voters supported Democrats. Among major demographic groups, only African-Americans voted [Democratic] at higher levels.
o The survey found that voters support the Equality Act by a 65-to-25% margin.
Courtesy of the HRC
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