Despite Attempts from Hard-Right Lawmakers to Create a Wedge by Demonizing Transgender People, New Polling Shows It's Not Working for Virginia Voters
RICHMOND, VA — With early voting already underway ahead of the Nov. 7 election in Virginia, a new Washington Post Schar School poll shows a 17-point margin favoring Democrats on issues impacting transgender people. Voters also trust Democrats more on abortion issues by a 17-point margin and on education by a 6-point margin. The polling reflects the strong support for LGBTQ+ equality and civil rights among Virginia voters.
"In Virginia, the path toward LGBTQ+ liberation runs directly through the state legislature,” said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. As MAGA Republicans attempt to use trans rights to divide, Virginians are not taking the bait. They understand that LGBTQ+ rights are the bedrock of equality that uplifts us all. On Election Day, Virginians will come together across race and place to safeguard LGBTQ+ rights, build upon the Virginia Values Act, and elect leaders devoted to LGBTQ+ equality."
Furthermore, the Washington Post Schar School poll provides the latest in a long line of evidence that anti-LGBTQ+, and especially anti-trans, attacks do not resonate with voters beyond the extremist far-right base. The poll indicates that attacking transgender people is not a winning issue with general election voters. In fact, when asked to rank six topics by importance, poll respondents ranked issues relating to transgender people last.
The stakes are high for the election – in 2023, anti-equality lawmakers in Virginia introduced 12 anti-LGBTQ+ bills – the most in any single Virginia legislative session – making it critical now more than ever to elect pro-equality leaders who will advocate for all Virginians.
Earlier this month, the Human Rights Campaign PAC (HRC PAC) launched a $100,000 ad campaign targeting Equality Voters and warning of the threats facing equality and LGBTQ+ rights in Virginia ahead of this year’s legislative elections. HRC PAC and Equality Virginia PAC (EV PAC) also jointly endorsed 21 pro-equality champions running for the Virginia State Senate and the Virginia House of Delegates, eight of whom identify as LGBTQ+, and both organizations are mobilizing Equality Voters in support of these pro-equality candidates.
As governor, Republican Glenn Youngkin has rolled back protections for transgender students and promised a draconian abortion ban if his allies gain control of the state legislature. This year’s elections will determine the balance of power in Virginia for at least the next two years as the battle over LGBTQ+ rights continues to define state legislative politics nationwide.
In 2020, HRC’s long-term efforts in Virginia culminated in the passage of the landmark bipartisan Virginia Values Act, making Virginia the first state in the South to enact nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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