Reality Check: Ahead of First 2024 Presidential Debate, Americans Fed Up With the MAGA Agenda of Division and Bullying

by Brandon Wolf

Super Majority of Americans support equality, concerned about MAGA attempts to divide the country

Majority of Americans trust President Biden and Democrats on LBGTQ+ issues

ATLANTA, GA - Tonight, President Joe Biden and twice-impeached, convicted felon Donald Trump will meet on the debate stage for the first time in the 2024 general election cycle. The clash comes against the backdrop of an American populace weary of MAGA attempts to divide the country and as the tide continues to turn against MAGA candidates and the anti-LGBTQ+ policy agenda.

“This election is not simply about two candidates. It is about two different visions for our country,” said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. “And those visions will be on display tonight. On the one hand, you have twice-impeached, forever disgraced, convicted felon Donald Trump, who is hellbent on burning democracy to the ground and installing a Christian Nationalist regime that would terrorize our families and trample our freedoms. And on the other, you have President Biden, the most pro-equality President in American history, who is dedicated to building an Administration that looks like America and serves the people everyday. Over and over again, the American people have made clear that they value equality, dignity, and freedom. They will hear a commitment to those values from one man onstage tonight: President Joe Biden.

Voters Reject Anti-LGBTQ+, Anti-Freedom Attacks

In the 2023 election cycle, anti-LGBTQ+ candidates and rhetoric failed across the country.

  • In Kentucky, pro-equality Governor Andy Beshear was re-elected despite his opponent spending millions of dollars in anti-trans ads against him. Governor Beshear has boldly vetoed anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and stood with transgender youth in Kentucky.

  • In Virginia, after the Human Rights Campaign invested heavily in warning Virginians of the threat posed to equality by MAGA candidates for the state legislature, voters delivered pro-equality majorities in both the House of Delegates and the State Senate.

  • In Ohio, voters passed a ballot measure to enshrine abortion protections into the state’s constitution, rejecting the MAGA quest to demonize transgender youth and strip away fundamental freedoms.

A Super Majority of Americans Support Equality

New data from Navigator Research shows strong majority support for LGBTQ+ equality, and deep concern over MAGA attacks on fundamental freedoms.

  • Nearly two-in-three Americans support federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people, including 58% of independents and 42% of Republicans.

  • 61% say they will not support candidates who want to ban health care for transgender people, including 59% of independents and 41% of Republicans.

  • 70% say they are concerned that politicians are attacking gay and transgender youth to divide us, maintain their political power and control, and score political points, a clear indication that the American people see through the MAGA anti-LGBTQ+ agenda.

  • A majority of Americans agree that parents, mental health professionals, and doctors are best equipped to decide the kind of care a child needs, not politicians.

The vast majority of Americans — 7 in 10 — think that politicians are not informed enough about abortion and gender-affirming care to create fair policies

According to September 2023 polling by The 19th and SurveyMonkey, Americans would prefer that politicians either protect transgender people or not focus on transgender issues at all. Only 17% of Americans, and only 29% of Republicans, say politicians should focus on restricting gender-affirming care.

Americans Believe the Amount of Anti-LGBTQ+ Legislation Is Excessive, Agreeing It Is “Political Theater”

Likely voters across all political parties look at GOP efforts to flood state legislatures with anti-LGBTQ+ legislation as political theater. Polling indicates that 64% of all likely voters, including 72% of Democrats, 65% of Independents, and 55% of Republicans think that there is “too much legislation” aimed at “limiting the rights of transgender and gay people in America” (Data For Progress survey of 1,220 likely voters, 3/24-26, 2023). This quote from Cuban-American former Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sums it up: “Intolerance is not a good look on anyone. I remain optimistic that voters will see through this charade and will encourage their elected officials to solve the real problems of America instead of masquerading as Moral Police Officers.”

Majorities Disapprove of Banning LGBTQ+ Content in Schools – and Seem Prepared to Punish Candidates Who Do So

When asked if middle school libraries should include materials related to “gender identity” (57% “should”) and “sexual orientation” (56%), the majority of Americans believe this content should be available. In fact, by a margin of 32 percentage points, Americans are more worried that “materials that could be valuable to students will be removed from school libraries” (62%), than worry that “materials that could be harmful to students will remain in school libraries” (30%). Yet again, Democrats and Independents are in a different place than their GOP counterparts suggesting headaches for Republicans in the 2024 elections. (Grinnell College National Poll, 3/14-19, 2023)

Indeed, it looks like this issue could be a disqualifier for elected officials who support curriculum censorship and book bans, based on recent polling (Ipsos, 4/24-25, 2023 among 1,005 adults nationwide, the vast majority of whom are registered to vote). More than six in 10 Americans say they would be less likely to back a candidate who “supports policies that ban books in schools and in school libraries on subject matter that deals with sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity” (38% more likely, 62% less likely).

Biden-Harris: Trusted Defenders of Equality, Youth Wellbeing

The 2024 Navigator Research poll showed that President Biden and the Democratic Party are more trusted than Republicans to safeguard LGBTQ+ equality and protect America’s youth.

  • 60% of those polled say they trust President Biden and Democrats to protect the LGBTQ+ community, compared to just 19% who say they trust the GOP.

  • 54% say they trust President Biden and Democrats to protect the rights and freedoms of the community, compared to just 22% who say they trust the GOP.

  • 46% say they trust President Biden and Democrats to care for children’s wellbeing, compared to just 37% who say they trust the GOP.

Paid for by Human Rights Campaign PAC (

Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.


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