Post submitted by Ianthe Metzger, Former Press Secretary, State & Local
HRC released a new report, A Path To Victory In 2018: The Power Of The Equality Voter, on the growing political power of the LGBTQ movement and HRC’s groundbreaking work to mobilize millions of “Equality Voters” in the 2018 elections.
Last July, a year after HRC significantly expanded its grassroots engagement and proved that LGBTQ voters are one of the most important and effective voting blocs in the nation, HRC launched HRC Rising — a bold, proactive grassroots campaign to accelerate progress in states from coast-to-coast, resist the politics of hate, fight anti-LGBTQ legislation, and fuel pro-equality candidates and initiatives in 2018, 2020, and beyond. As the largest and earliest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history, HRC has made an especially strong, early push to organize against the Trump-Pence agenda and turn out the millions of equality voters in Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
“It is clear that LGBTQ voters — and their allies — are one of the most reliable and highly-engaged voting blocs in the United States,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “From North Carolina to Virginia to Alabama to a wave of historic victories for transgender candidates across the nation this past fall, equality voters are making their voices heard at the ballot box. These victories are a model for our battles nationwide. And in 2018, HRC is mobilizing like never before to pull the emergency brake on the Trump-Pence administration’s hate-fueled agenda and send a loud and clear message that if you come for our community, we’re coming for you on Election Day.”
HRC has pioneered new tools to target millions of “Equality Voters” in key districts and states. Partnering with the data and analytics firm Catalist to create an “Equality Voter Model,” HRC built on decades of voter and polling data to assess the degree to which a person is likely to support pro-LGBTQ policies -- from marriage equality and adoption by LGBTQ parents, to laws that would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. During the 2016 election, HRC refined the model, allowing for direct outreach to millions of equality voters in crucial battleground states, moving them to action in support of pro-equality issues and legislation, as well as our endorsed candidates.
As part of the HRC Rising initiative, national and in-state staff and volunteers will be using this model to replicate recent victories, and are working in coalition with local partners to bolster efforts to advance equality, defend the LGBTQ community against attacks, deliver wins for pro-equality candidates this year, and lay the groundwork for future legislative victories.
Despite the challenges of 2016, the cycle demonstrated the immense power of LGBTQ voters and allies. In North Carolina and elsewhere across the nation, equality voters stood up in large numbers. 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.
The full report can be found here.