HRC celebrated historic victories for HRC-endorsed LGBTQ candidates and pro-equality allies in key races across the nation. Dozens of HRC-backed candidates declared victory, following 18 months of unprecedented engagement and voter mobilization in more than 70 congressional races and key state-level races from governor to state legislature in 23 states from coast-to-coast.
In the summer of 2017, the Human Rights Campaign launched HRC Rising, the largest grassroots expansion in the organization’s 38-year history. Since then, HRC has endorsed more than 480 pro-equality candidates nationwide, and deployed 150 staff to organize and mobilize voters in more than 70 congressional, targeted senate and key statewide races across 23 states. HRC also backed more women and people of color than in any election cycle in its history: 45 percent of HRC’s endorsees were women — including 55 percent of non-incumbent candidates — and nearly one-third were people of color.
A record number of LGBTQ lawmakers were elected at all levels. Notably, Senator Tammy Baldwin was re-elected to the U.S. Senate. Jared Polis became the first openly gay man to be elected governor in the United States. Oregon Governor Kate Brown, the first LGBTQ governor in history, was re-elected. Sharice Davids became the first gay Native American lawmaker in Congress. And a record number of out LGBTQ candidates were elected and re-elected to the U.S. Congress.
HRC helped register more than 32,000 voters and recruited more than 4,200 volunteers, who worked over 8,500 shifts and clocked more than 30,000 volunteer hours. In the critical final four days of the campaign, HRC staff and volunteers in get-out-the-vote efforts alone knocked on more than 80,000 doors, and held 36,400 conversations with voters at their doors and by phone on behalf of our endorsed candidates.
Since June, HRC President Chad Griffin has barnstormed the country campaigning for 50 pro-equality candidates at more than 70 events in 47 cities across 23 states.
“Tonight, millions of LGBTQ voters and allies across the nation rejected the politics of hate and fear and put Donald Trump and Mike Pence on notice,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “The days of attacking LGBTQ people for political gain are over, and the American people will not stand for lawmakers who try to drum up votes by trafficking in hate. Thanks to millions of Americans who stood up and fought back, we have succeeded in restoring a sane, pro-equality majority to the House and placing a check on this administration’s hateful agenda. To the 3 million members of the Human Rights Campaign who have worked tirelessly for the last 18 months to out-organize and out-mobilize anti-LGBTQ extremists nationwide, thank you for making history tonight. Together we have sent a loud and clear message that if you come for us, then we will come for you on Election Day.”
HRC’s unprecedented grassroots mobilization represented an investment of approximately $26 million to recruit volunteers, mobilize constituents, register voters and grow the organization’s grassroots army in an all-out effort to pull the emergency brake on the hateful anti-LGBTQ agenda of the Trump-Pence administration and elect a Congress that would hold them accountable.
HRC’s Equality Votes PAC spent $3.2 million to drive turnout through direct mail and digital ads in priority races including Senator Tammy Baldwin, Jacky Rosen, Kyrsten Sinema, Harley Rouda, Mike Levin, and Representatives-elect Sharice Davids and Angie Craig. HRC also invested in six-figure GOTV ads in Georgia and Florida. Through tested digital ads, HRC was able to reach a total of 4.6 million voters across priority races.
We also celebrate a historic victory in Massachusetts where voters upheld non-discrimination protections for transgender people in public spaces. Question 3 – which asked voters whether to maintain a 2016 law protecting transgender people from discrimination in critical public accommodations including restaurants, hotels, hospitals, stores and public transportation – was the first time gender identity non-discrimination protections were on a statewide ballot independent of protections based on sexual orientation. HRC serves as a founding executive committee member of Freedom for All Massachusetts, a coalition of national and state equal rights organizations, which led the successful Yes on 3 Campaign.
Over the last two years, the Trump-Pence administration has relentlessly attacked the LGBTQ community, from a “license-to-discriminate” executive order to revoking protections for transgender students to unconscionably attempting to ban brave transgender troops from serving openly. Within the last two weeks, the New York Times reported that the administration was secretly planning to redefine “sex” to exclude transgender people in an intentional effort to eliminate federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people. A list of the administration’s attacks over the last two years can be found here.
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