Pre-Election Analysis Shared Earlier this Week by HRC Largely Rang True as Record-Breaking Voter Turnout Clinched Historic Victories and Denied Extremists the ‘Tsunami’ They Were Banking On
Pro-equality, pro-democracy, pro-choice voters yesterday turned out in record-shattering numbers to cast ballots in the 2022 midterm elections, not only securing a wave of historic victories for LGBTQ+ candidates, women, and candidates of color, but also denying extremists the so-called tsunami they were banking on — sending a clear message that hate and disinformation have no longterm, sustainable pathway to victory. Pre-election analysis shared earlier this week by analysts and campaign strategists at the Human Rights Campaign largely rang true in Tuesday’s election — forecasting that despite efforts by extremist candidates to suppress and demoralize millions of LGBTQ+ people, women, and people of color, the 2022 midterm elections would see LGBTQ+ voters make up more of the American electorate than in any nonpresidential election prior, and that pro-equality, pro-democracy, and pro-choice voters would drive historic victories including electing a record-breaking number of LGBTQ+ candidates to public office.
Joni Madison, Interim President of the Human Rights Campaign, released the following statement in the aftermath of the 2022 midterm elections:
“As we predicted earlier this week ahead of Tuesday’s election, extremist candidates didn’t generate the tsunami they were betting on, thanks to the historic turnout of pro-equality, pro-democracy, and pro-choice voters, who showed up to the polls in record numbers. Voters sent a strong message last night that extremists, conspiracy theorists, and far-right radicals won’t be readily handed the keys to our democracy — and certainly won’t prevent the gears of progress from turning.
“Younger voters turned out in historic numbers, and in states like Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania we saw pro-equality candidates defeat the opposition, defying the expectations of many and affirming that hate and disinformation won’t win. We saw a record-shattering numbers of LGBTQ+ voters and Gen Z voters turn out, and we saw LGBTQ+ candidates secure historic wins — including the first openly lesbian governors and more openly LGBTQ+ people elected and reelected to the U.S. Congress than ever, ensuring that the next Congress will have more LGBTQ+ representation than ever before.
“There is no doubt that we still have plenty of work ahead of us. There are pockets of the country where anti-LGBTQ+ extremists are continuing to double down, and my heart is with our transgender and non-binary community, who bore the brunt of horrific attacks on their very identity. But the bigger takeaway is this: The future will be fueled by a new generation of younger voters, who not only showed up in droves yesterday to support pro-equality, pro-democracy, and pro-choice candidates, but who will soon eviscerate any delusions extremists may have that disinformation and hate have any longterm, viable pathway to victory. Pro-equality, pro-democracy, pro-choice voters denied extremists and conspiracy theorists the landslide they assumed was theirs for the taking, and we’ll continue working tirelessly to ensure that’s forever cemented into America’s electoral landscape.”
Fueled by record-breaking voter turnout in support of pro-equality, pro-democracy, pro-choice candidates, Tuesday’s elections generated a series of historic victories for LGBTQ+ candidates, women, and candidates of color — and also saw extremism rejected in contests throughout the country:
HISTORIC VICTORIES: LGBTQ+ candidates, women, and people of color across the nation scored historic victories, increasing visibility and representation at every level of government.
LGBTQ+ candidates appeared for the first time on ballots in every state. For the first time ever, LGBTQ+ candidates were on the ballot in every state across the country; representing a nearly 20 percent increase over 2020. And a record number won.
More openly LGBTQ+ Members of Congress than ever before. Tuesday’s elections ensured that the next Congress will include a record-breaking ten openly LGBTQ+ Members of the U.S. House Equality Caucus. LGBTQ+ candidates like Robert Garcia in California (who will be the first openly gay immigrant elected to the U.S. Congress), Becca Balint (who will be the first woman and first lesbian in Vermont to be elected to the U.S. Congress), and Eric Sorensen (who will be the first openly LGBTQ+ person elected to Congress from Illinois) won their historic races and will serve alongside other openly LGBTQ+ Members of Congress who won reelection — including David Cicilline (RI-1), Angie Craig (MN-2), Sharice Davids (KS-3), Chris Pappas (NH-1), Mark Pocan (WI-2), Mark Takano (CA-39), and Ritchie Torres (NY-15). Votes are still being counted in CA-41 and OR-5, where openly LGBTQ+ Will Rollins and Jamie McLeod-Skinner are in close races.
More openly LGBTQ+ governors than ever. In addition to Healey and Kotek’s wins (in Massachusetts and Oregon, respectively), openly gay Colorado Gov. Jared Polis won reelection, registering the highest number of openly serving LGBTQ+ governors at the same time than ever.
First openly transgender man elected to state legislature + historic trans victories. Candidate James Roesener of New Hampshire became the first openly transgender man elected to any state legislature Roesener’s historic win is further bolstered by the record number of transgender and non-binary people elected and re-elected, including people like Sarah McBride who secured a second term as state senator in Delaware and Zooey Zephyr of Montana and Leigh Finke of Minnesota who each became the first transgender women elected to their state legislatures.
First Black governor of Maryland and other historic victories by Black candidates. Wes Moore — a staunch pro-equality supporter and LGBTQ+ ally — secured a historic victory to become the first Black governor of Maryland, joined by Anthony Brown who was also elected in Maryland to become the state’s first Black Attorney General. Candidate Summer Lee yesterday became the first Black woman elected to the U.S. Congress from Pennsylvania, and Andrea Campbell yesterday became the first Black woman in Massachussetts to be elected Attorney General.
Pro-equality state legislative victories flip several chambers. Scores of pro-equality state legislative candidates won across the country, flipping majority control of the Michigan Senate, Michigan House, Minnesota Senate, and Pennsylvania House. These victories will allow for the advancement of long-stalled pro-equality, pro-choice, and pro-democracy policies in all three states.
Support for reproductive rights affirmed in ballot initiative victories in five states. Voters in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, and Vermont voted overwhelmingly in support of reproductive rights, reaffirming the majority of Americans support access to abortion, and rejecting efforts to restrict access.
First Gen Z Member of Congress. Florida’s Maxwell Frost became the first member of Generation Z to be elected to the U.S. Congress.
More people of color and openly LGBTQ+ candidates endorsed by HRC than ever before. HRC endorsed more people of color and openly LGBTQ+ candidates than ever before, reflecting our commitment to fighting for a future marked by more representation and visibility in Congress and at every level of government than we’ve ever seen. These victories are made possible by the ongoing work we’ve done in close collaboration with our many allies and partners in states across the country fighting on behalf of millions of Americans to ensure a future that is pro-democracy, pro-equality, and pro-choice.
VOTER ENTHUSIASM: LGBTQ+ voters turned out in record numbers — alongside pro-equality, pro-democracy, and pro-choice voters to deny extremists and conspiracy theorists the landslide they assumed was theirs for the taking.
Historic number of LGBTQ+ voters. Yesterday, LGBTQ+ voters turned out in larger numbers than ever before in a nonpresidential election — helping to drive support for pro-equality, pro-democracy, and pro-choice candidates and reminding extremists that LGBTQ+ people are one of the fastest growing voting blocs in the country, expected to represent one-in-seven voters by 2030, and nearly one-in-five voters by 2040.
Gen Z, younger voters, and voters of color made their voices heard. Fed up with anti-equality, anti-choice, and anti-democracy attacks, young people ages 18-29 voted for Democrats over Republicans by a 28-point margin nationwide.
“Equality Voters” turned out in strong numbers. LGBTQ+ voters and younger, diverse voters were further joined by many of the 62 million “Equality Voters” nationwide for whom LGBTQ+ equality is a make-or-break issue, who HRC has been mobilizing in support of our legislative and issue agenda as well as our endorsed candidates.
REJECTION OF EXTREMISM: Anti-equality extremists poured tens of millions into anti-trans advertising — and lost in nearly all of the races they invested in; in other races, anti-equality candidates who vilified LGBTQ+ people, women, and people of color lost their bids.
Tens of millions of dollars in anti-trans ads fell flat. Anti-LGBTQ+ groups like American First Legal and American Principles Project — led by people like Stephen Miller, known as the architect behind some of Trump’s most xenophobic and anti-immigration policies — poured tens of millions of dollars into advertising and mailers across the country, in support of candidates in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas; those investments fell flat, as nearly all of their supported candidates lost their bids for elected office, including people like Tudor Dixon, who pushed anti-trans rhetoric in the days before pro-equality Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer clinched reelection victory.
Governors who stood up for transgender children prevailed. Reelected Governor of Kansas Laura Kelly vetoed two bills – in 2021 and 2022 – seeking to ban transgender athletes from taking part in school sports on the teams that match their gender identity. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gov. Janet Mills of Maine, and Gov. Tony Evers of Wisconsin opposed anti-trans sports bans in their states and also won their bids for reelection.
Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (www.hrc.org). Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.
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