HRC and Fair Wisconsin, today released new polling data from Hart Research Associates one year out from the 2018 midterm elections, showing that likely voters across Wisconsin overwhelmingly support LGBTQ-inclusive policies and are less likely to vote for a candidate who does not.
HRC is on the ground in Wisconsin, a priority state through HRC Rising -- the largest and earliest grassroots expansion in its 37-year history.
“A year out from the midterm elections, the data clearly show that Wisconsinites overwhelmingly support LGBTQ equality,” said Wendy Strout, HRC Wisconsin State Manager. “Just as they have in North Carolina last year and Alabama last month, Wisconsin voters will stand up to reject candidates who target LGBTQ people. These polling results make it clear -- hate is not a winning political strategy.”
“Poll after poll show the same thing - Wisconsinites believe that discrimination against the LGBTQ community is wrong,” said Megin McDonnell, Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin.
Following the defeat of anti-LGBTQ politicians like former North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory and Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore, the new polling makes clear that voters in Wisconsin resoundingly reject elected officials who attack and discriminate against the LGBTQ community. Almost half of voters (45 percent) say they would feel less favorably toward an official who opposes LGBTQ equality, versus 10 percent who say it would make them more favorable toward the official. This 35 point margin demonstrates just how toxic it is to attack LGBTQ people for perceived political gain. Voters will no longer tolerate discrimination against their family, friends and neighbors.
Wisconsin voters also oppose the Trump-Pence administration's efforts to roll back LGBTQ equality, with 59 percent opposing Trump’s efforts to ban qualified transgender people from serving in the United States armed forces. By a wide 21 point margin, voters also oppose laws granting business owners a dangerous license to discriminate.
Overall, Wisconsin voters support LGBTQ equality and protections for LGBTQ people such as banning so-called “conversion therapy” and adding protections for transgender people to existing non-discrimination laws. Other key findings from the poll:
- 72 percent of Wisconsin voters support LGBTQ employees having access to paid family and medical leave, without fear of losing a paycheck or their job for the birth or adoption of a child, or to care for a sick family member.
- 62 percent of Wisconsin voters support allowing LGBTQ people to legally adopt children.
- 62 percent of Wisconsin voters support making it illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ people in employment.
- 65 percent of Wisconsin voters support making it illegal to discriminate against LGBTQ people in housing.
HRC has endorsed Senator Tammy Baldwin for reelection, a staunch advocate for the LGBTQ community. Senator Baldwin was a leader in the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” an early supporter of marriage equality, a champion for federal hate crimes protections, and co-author of the Equality Act, crucial legislation that would extend comprehensive federal protections to LGBTQ Americans. Wisconsin voters support passing this legislation by a 56 to 17 percent margin.
In July, HRC announced HRC Rising the earliest, largest grassroots expansion in its 37-year history ahead of 2018 midterms. This historic campaign to win equality in states from coast-to-coast, resist the politics of hate, fight anti-LGBTQ legislation, and fuel pro-equality candidates and initiatives, will include six priority states: Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, HRC has identified more than 560,000 Wisconsinites as likely “Equality Voters” — those who are strong supporters of policies that advance LGBTQ equality, including marriage equality and other measures prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Read the full polling memo here.