Today, HRC released its Early State Voter Snapshot giving insight into the power of LGBTQ and Equality Voters in each of the four early Democratic Presidential Caucus and Primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Of the approximately 7.5 million registered voters in the early states, over 23% are Equality Voters and approximately 5% are LGBTQ voters.
Nationwide, there are an estimated minimum of 11 million LGBTQ voters -- and millions more allies -- who will play a decisive role in the 2020 elections. Using decades of HRC polling, membership information and other proprietary data, HRC worked with data-analytics firm Catalist to identify 57 million “Equality Voters” nationwide who prioritize LGBTQ-inclusive policies when making decisions about which candidates to support. In 2018, HRC utilized this data to mobilize “Equality Voters” in key races across the country and we succeeded. “Equality Voters” accounted for 29% of the 2018 electorate, making it one of the most substantial voting blocs in the election. Their turnout increased from 36% in the 2014 midterm elections to 56% in 2018, a dramatic increase that is expected to continue in 2020.
“With more than 11 million LGBTQ voters and 57 million Equality Voters nationwide, voters who prioritize LGBTQ rights have become a force to be reckoned with and a constituency to court,” said HRC President Alphonso David. “LGBTQ people and our allies are among the most politically engaged constituencies in the country, and Democratic presidential candidates are taking notice. That's why this Democratic primary season we've seen candidates release more substantive LGBTQ focused policies than ever before. In great part, this nomination runs through the LGBTQ community.”
"As Iowans, LGBTQ and Equality voters in our state take their first-in-the-nation status very seriously,” said One Iowa Action Executive Director Dan Royer. “They do their research, deliberate carefully, and show up for pro-equality candidates. We encourage all presidential candidates to take a look at the Early State Voter Snapshot and make engaging this powerful group of voters a top priority."
Over the last few decades, LGBTQ voters have grown their political power joining together with allies to oust anti-equality candidates like former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and elect historic LGBTQ candidates in greater numbers than ever before. It’s clear the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have increasingly taken notice. During Pride Month 2019, candidate after candidate released extensive LGBTQ-focused policies, attended Pride parades, hosted debate watch parties in LGBTQ bars and hosted major campaign events in queer spaces -- the extent of which is almost entirely unprecedented in presidential campaign history.
With the most pro-equality field of Democratic presidential candidates in history, the contrast couldn’t be stronger. The LGBTQ community is at a crossroads, and we must identify a leader who can defeat the anti-LGBTQ Trump-Pence ticket and reverse their many attacks on LGBTQ people.
Over the last two years, the Trump-Pence Administration has rescinded key protections for transgender students, appointed two new anti-LGBTQ justices to the Supreme Court, banned transgender troops from serving openly in the military, and has repeatedly sought to allow discrimination against LGBTQ people in healthcare, housing, public accommodations and other aspects of life. Despite campaigning on a promise to be a “friend” to the LGBTQ community, President Trump designated notoriously anti-LGBTQ Mike Pence as his vice president, and has refused to advance bipartisan federal civil rights legislation -- the Equality Act -- which overwhelmingly passed through the U.S. House of Representatives this spring.