Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes PAC Launches $2 Million GOTV Program Across 12 States

by Viet Tran

With less than 50 days until the election, Equality Votes PAC is releasing new ads as part of a digital ad campaign targeting key pro-equality voters in swing states and districts.

Today, the Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Votes PAC announced a new seven-figure ad campaign focusing on voter engagement and turning out the vote in key states and congressional districts across the country. The digital ad campaign, comprised of new video and streaming radio ads, focuses on educating voters on early voting, mobilizing them to turn out to vote by November 3rd, and holding Trump, Pence and their endorsed candidates accountable for their extreme anti-LGBTQ positions and botched handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The initial $1.5 million digital ad reservations will engage more voters than HRC ever has before with an ad buy, targeting over one million Equality Voters in 12 states, inclusive of 25 key congressional districts and 96 state legislative districts. Following this first round of investment, HRC Equality Votes PAC will layer additional paid digital advertising, direct mail, phone calls and radio to these voters in the coming weeks as early in-person and mail voting become more widely available.

WATCH: The Empty Temple

In “The Empty Temple,” filmed in an empty queer bar, we see the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on the LGBTQ community, as a narrator describes the economic and community consequences of the Trump-Pence administration’s botched handling of the pandemic. HRC research has found that:

  • The LGBTQ population is 20% more likely than the general population to have experienced a reduction in work hours since some states initiated reopening policies.
    • LGBTQ people of color are 44% more likely and transgender people are 125% more likely than the general population to have had a reduction in work hours since some states initiated reopening policies.
  • The LGBTQ population is 30% more likely than the general population to have lost their jobs since some states initiated reopening policies due to COVID-19.

“LGBTQ people – especially Black and transgender LGBTQ people – are having more trouble making rent and paying bills, with this pandemic compounding years of systemic inequality,” says the narrator. “Because more of us have lost work hours, and many of us have lost our jobs. But we aren’t going down without a fight.” The full transcript is below.

WATCH: Unity

In the 18 targeted congressional districts within the program’s priority states of Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Texas, the average initial spend is $55,000. Overall, the initial spend in each of those 6 states plus Wisconsin is at least $125,000. Additionally, HRC’s Equality Votes PAC will have digital ads running in 6 other key congressional districts in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Maine and Minnesota with the average spend per district around $34,000. As part of this buy, HRC Equality Votes PAC is partnering with Collective PAC to provide a $200,000 investment in streaming and terrestrial radio advertising to reach Black voters in Atlanta, Detroit and Milwaukee.

The ad campaign will appear on a number of online and social media platforms, including Facebook/Instagram, Vevo, Hulu, Pandora and other premium video and streaming platforms.

“Equality Voters have the power to make the racist, sexist, anti-LGBTQ Trump-Pence ticket a pair of one-term losers. We know we must vote like our lives depend on it, because for so many LGBTQ people and those living with the most dire impacts of this pandemic -- that’s true. The Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Votes PAC is investing in its largest effort ever -- across 12 states inclusive of 25 competitive congressional districts and 96 state legislative districts -- to educate and empower Equality Voters to turn out to vote for the most pro-equality ticket in our history in Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. In Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and several other key districts, Equality Voters have the ability to swing the election, defeating anti-equality candidates and ensuring we elect pro-equality candidates up and down the ballot.”

Jonathan Shields, HRC Deputy Campaign Director

The ads target hundreds of thousands of “Equality Voters” in competitive congressional and state legislative districts where their turnout is critical to the outcome of the Presidential contest statewide. Partnering with the data and analytics firm Catalist to create an “Equality Voter Model,” the Human Rights Campaign (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.

The power of Equality Voters was also made crystal clear in 2018 when a wave of pro-equality and openly LGBTQ candidates were elected in states across the country. Last fall, HRC celebrated Virginia’s newly elected pro-equality majorities in both the House and Senate, and the passage of the Virgina Values Act earlier this year -- making Virginia the first Southern state to pass comprehensive non-discrimination protections.

Supporters in any state can go to hrc.org/vote to register to vote, verify their voter registration, find out about early in-person or mail voting options, 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.

Full Transcript, “The Empty Temple”:

“This is a queer bar.

It’s barely open.

Here, you would normally see people being themselves, with their community -- sometimes for the first time all week, or for the first time in their lives.

And no one knows when we’ll be free to come back, to truly be ourselves.

Make no mistake: this happened because our most powerful politicians made bad choices. And they blamed us.

As they continue to attack our community and make us feel less safe to be ourselves.

Leaving everyone at the margins and on the frontlines in harm’s way. You hear the stories.

Bars and restaurants are not open right now, so people are losing their jobs and losing income.

Immigrant families and families of color are suffering the most due to COVID-19.

We have a President who doesn’t care about us.

He’s racist, he’s sexist, he’s homophobic, he’s transphobic. He tries to intimidate us with the threat of violence.

His cronies in Washington and statehouses across the country have enabled him at every step.

And we’re the ones who live with the consequences.

And now Black and brown people are dying from COVID at higher rates than other people.

LGBTQ people – especially Black and transgender LGBTQ people – are having more trouble making rent and paying bills, with this pandemic compounding years of inequality.

Because more of us have lost work hours, and many of us have lost our jobs.

But we aren’t going down without a fight.

We’re making our voices heard. Fighting for our lives - and each other’s.

Now’s when we need to turn it up.

Winning the election alone will not solve everything. But losing could cost us everything.

Call. Text. Talk. Organize. Make change.

We can elect leaders like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

We can make our voices heard in every race in America.

And together, we can win.”

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign Equality Votes (www.hrc.org) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee

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