Post submitted by Ianthe Metzger, Former Press Secretary, State & Local
This week, with two weeks until Election Day, HRC is mailing hundreds of thousands of HRC members and supporters in support of 69 pro-equality U.S. House candidates in 25 states, and 24 pro-equality statewide candidates in five states. The new mail pieces focus on encouraging Equality Voters to vote early, mobilizing them to turn out on or before November 6th, and educating them on the records of HRC-endorsed candidates and their anti-equality opponents on LGBTQ rights, health care, reproductive freedom and more.
“With fewer than two weeks until Election Day, we’re using every resource and tool available to make certain Equality Voters turn out to the polls to make their votes count and their voices heard,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “LGBTQ voters and our allies are poised to be a pivotal voting bloc in the midterm elections. This community has the power to determine whether we elect a Congress that will finally hold the Trump-Pence administration accountable, or a Congress that will continue to enable their attacks on our basic civil rights. We must ensure this is the election of no regrets, and that on November 6th we pull the emergency brake on this reckless administration.”
Members and supporters received the first mailers on Monday and will receive additional pieces today, and on Monday, October 29.
In another effort to target voters, earlier this month HRC’s Equality Votes PAC announced a new seven-figure ad blitz focusing on voter engagement and turn out in swing states and districts through digital, direct mail, text and phone. The initial digital and direct mail buy is more than $2 million across three Senate and five House races and targets anti-equality Senate candidates Dean Heller in Nevada, Martha McSally in Arizona and Leah Vukmir in Wisconsin, as well as candidates in key congressional districts such as TX-23, CA-48, CA-49, MN-02, and KS-03.
Last week, HRC hosted a National Weekend of Action as part of our continued efforts to mobilize voters. Spearheaded by HRC’s on-the-ground staff and 32 local volunteer steering committees across the country, HRC engaged with voters at nearly 1,000 #TurnOUT the vote events across the country, including phone banks, canvassing, and early vote rallies throughout the weekend. With more than 140 staff deployed around the country, HRC has already had more than 2,600 volunteers complete nearly 14,500 volunteer hours, trained more than 1,550 local advocates, and helped more than 33,400 people register to vote.
The estimated 10 million LGBTQ voters across the nation have proven to be one of the most important voting blocs in the nation. And with support for LGBTQ equality at historic heights, HRC has used sophisticated analytics to identify and mobilize 52 million “Equality Voters” nationwide who support LGBTQ-inclusive policies including marriage equality, equitable family law, and laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The immense power of LGBTQ voters and allies has been proven time and time again in recent years, including during the challenging 2016 cycle. In a watershed moment for the LGBTQ community, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory was the only incumbent governor of either party to lose re-election and the only incumbent governor to lose re-election in North Carolina’s history — in large part due to his discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ HB2 law. The power of Equality Voters was also made crystal clear in 2017 when a wave of pro-equality and openly LGBTQ candidates were elected in states across the country. In Alabama, HRC-endorsed candidate Doug Jones claimed a historic victory over his opponent — the notoriously anti-LGBTQ politician Roy Moore. In Virginia, voters sent a resounding message rejecting the politics of hate and fear by electing pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot.
For more than a year, HRC has been on the ground building support for pro-equality candidates with priority investments in six key states — Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — and in nearly 70 congressional districts nationwide. The critically important work is a part of coast-to-coast campaign to mobilize voters for the midterm elections called HRC Rising, which represents the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history.
Supporters in any state can text “VOTER” to 30644 to verify their voter registration, find their polling place, and receive election reminders. For more information on how to get involved, sign up to volunteer, or join an advocacy training, visit HRC’s Equality Voter Action Center.