NEW POST-ELECTION POLL: Equality Voters Stopped the Red Wave in Nevada, Rejecting Trump-Backed Candidates’ Extremism and Anti-LGBTQ+ Attacks

by HRC Staff

“Equality Voters” delivered huge margins to pro-equality Democrats up and down the ballot in Nevada, pushing back against extremism and defying pre-election predictions of a massive “red wave”

NEVADA New polling in Nevada released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — shows that the 2022 election defied pre-election predictions of a massive “red wave” — in Nevada and nationally — in no small measure because Equality Voters pushed back against extremism and voted to protect commonly held values and our democracy.

Across the country and in Nevada, election deniers and right-wing extremists lost winnable elections because they advocated views that are out-of-touch with average voters, particularly the huge number of Equality Voters who made the critical difference up and down the ballot. Equality Voters, of which there more than 700,000 in Nevada, are a group of voters modeled to support LGBTQ+ equality. They represent 38 percent of the 2022 national electorate and 44 percent of the 2022 Nevada electorate — a number that reflects the growing political strength of this community — and tend to be younger and more racially diverse than the electorate as a whole.

“You can’t expect to win in Nevada by nominating candidates who advocate extreme positions, including attacking and demonizing the LGBTQ+ community that grows more politically powerful every election cycle,” said Human Rights Campaign’s Nevada State Director Karl Catarata. “Our opponents didn’t generate the landslide they were betting on, thanks to the historic turnout of pro-equality, pro-democracy, and pro-choice voters who sent a strong message that extremists, conspiracy theorists, and far-right radicals do not represent Nevadans. The victory of Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto proves that spreading lies, hate, and division — the tactics of her opponent Adam Laxalt — did not work and have no place in this country.”

Equality Voters delivered huge margins to Democrats at every level of the ballot.

  • 78 percent of Equality voters supported the re-election of U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, 82 percent supported the re-election of Governor Steve Sisolak, making that race extremely competitive, and 75 percent supported Democratic U.S. House candidates, where Democrats defended three vulnerable incumbents.

As predicted, right-wing efforts to spread propaganda about and attack transgender people failed.

  • In this survey, we asked voters which specific issues motivated them to vote this year. Inflation (57 percent) ranks first while abortion (31 percent) ranks second.

  • Only 8 percent identify gender affirming care for transgender youth or transgender participation in sports as issues motivating them to vote.

  • This confirms extensive national research prior to the election that found anti-transgender attacks were effective in riling up extreme members of the conservative base, which is why the attacks were so prominent in paid media during Republican primaries.

  • While the attacks were ineffective with the general electorate, they still caused harm, including increasing stigma, discrimination, and violence against the transgender community.

Voters will tolerate no retreat on marriage.

  • With pivotal U.S. Senate votes on marriage equality now underway in the lame duck session, it’s worth noting a convincing 67 percent of Nevada voters in this fairly conservative, midterm electorate support Congress passing a law to protect the federal right to same-sex marriage, seven points higher than the national average (61 percent).

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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