New Pennsylvania polls released today by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — show the 2022 elections are those predicted before the election massive “red waves” in no small measure because Equality Voters have stood up to extremism and voted to protect shared values and our democracy.
In Pennsylvania, Equality Voters rejected the extremism of Doug Mastriano and Mehmet Oz. The result here not only ensured that one of the country’s most extreme candidates did not come anywhere near the governor’s mansion, but also that a pro-equality majority in the US Senate was maintained and possibly into the December 6 campaign results could be extended -off election in Georgia.
Across the country and in Pennsylvania, vote-resisters and right-wing extremists have lost winnable elections because they espoused views that are inconsistent with the average voter, particularly the vast number of equality voters who have made the crucial difference up and down the election. Equality Voters, of which there are more than 3 million in Pennsylvania, are a group of voters dedicated to LGBTQ+ equality. They represented 38 percent of the 2022 electorate nationally and in Pennsylvania — a number that reflects the growing political strength of this voting bloc — and tend to be younger and more racially diverse than the electorate as a whole.
“You can’t expect to win in Pennsylvania by nominating candidates who take extreme positions, including attacking and demonizing the LGBTQ+ community, which is growing politically more powerful with each election cycle.” said Ryan Matthews, the Pennsylvania state director of the Human Rights Campaign. “Our opponents did not trigger the landslide they were betting on, thanks to the historic turnout of pro-equality, democracy and freedom voters who sent out a powerful message that extremists, conspiracy theorists and right-wing extremists do not portray Pennsylvanians. The victories of Governor-elect Josh Shapiro, Senator-elect John Fetterman and the newly elected pro-equality majority in the Pennsylvania state House of Representatives prove that spreading lies, hate and division – the tactics of their opponents – didn’t have a place in this one Country.”
Equality Voters provided Democrats with huge margins at every level of the ballot.
An 86 percent majority of Equality voters supported Governor-elect Josh Shapiro, 81 percent supported US Senator-elect John Fetterman, and 79 percent supported the Democratic US House of Representatives candidates.
As predicted, right-wing attempts to spread propaganda and attack transgender people failed.
In this poll, we asked voters what specific issues motivated them to vote this year. Inflation (47 percent) comes first, while abortion (37 percent) comes a close second.
Only 5 percent cite gender-affirming mentoring of transgender youth or transgender participation in sports as reasons that motivate them to vote.
This confirms extensive pre-election research which found that anti-transgender attacks served only to anger extreme members of the conservative base, which is why the attacks were so prominent in the paid media during the Republican primary.
While the attacks had no effect on the general electorate and did deter swing voters, they did cause harm, including increased stigma, discrimination and violence against the transgender community.
Voters will not tolerate a retreat to marriage.
As the crucial US Senate vote on marriage equality is underway this week, a compelling 68 percent of Pennsylvania voters in this fairly conservative midterm constituency support Congress passing legislation protecting federal rights to same-sex marriage, seven points more than the national average (61 percent).
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization advocating for equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are accepted as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.