GEORGIA — With a new AARP poll showing his campaign trailing Senator Raphael Warnock by four points ahead of the December 6th U.S. Senate runoff election in Georgia, Herschel Walker is reaching deep into an outdated playbook and running a desperate Hail Mary play running anti-transgender ads, attacking LGBTQ+ people in vicious terms and campaigning with an anti-LGBTQ+ extremist just days after a gunman killed five people and injured at least 25 more at an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs.
Geoff Wetrosky, National Campaign Director for the Human Rights Campaign released the following statement:
“The deadly mass shooting at an LGBTQ+ nightclub this past weekend is a direct result of anti-LGBTQ+ extremism and propaganda perpetrated by politicians like Herschel Walker. Voters repudiated this extremism in the midterm elections yet Herschel Walker has decided to once again seize on an anti-transgender strategy, making a final pitch to dangerously rile up extremist voters in his base and get them to the polls by attacking transgender youth and spreading misinformation. Walker campaigned this week with a North Carolina politician who referred to LGBTQ+ people as “filth.” His campaign also began airing an anti-transgender ad, just the latest of many in this election cycle from anti-equality candidates and their extremist allies trying to secure votes through fear-mongering and division. But here’s the thing: this strategy did not work in the midterms and it won’t work in the Georgia run-off. We anticipate Equality Voters dealing the final blow to Walker on December 6th, ending his campaign once and for all. Still, despite his loss, Walker will have directly caused harm to LGBTQ+ people in Georgia and beyond by increasing stigma against our community and fueling real-life violence. We call on everyone, all of you, to not let these hateful attacks from politicians stand, and to send a strong message that we’re tired of their lies, hate, and division.”
Walker, whose history of anti-LGBTQ+ statements includes mocking transgender people who serve in the military and opposition to marriage equality, has doubled down on this tactic as his campaign flails in the final days of the Georgia runoff:
New polling in Georgia released last week 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 no small measure because Equality Voters pushed back against extremism and voted to protect commonly held values and our democracy.
Across the country, 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 are nearly 1.5 million in Georgia, are a group of voters modeled to support LGBTQ+ equality. They represented 38 percent of the 2022 national electorate and 27 percent of the 2022 Georgia 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.
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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