Washington, D.C. – LGBTQ voters turned out in record numbers for this year’s election, according to a survey released by the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The National Election Pool exit poll conducted by Edison Research shows that self-identified LGBTQ voters accounted for 7% of the total electorate, while making up 4.5% of the general population. This is an increase over other recent elections. In the 2018 midterms, LGBTQ voters represented 6% of the electorate, and 5% in the 2016 presidential election. In fact, the percentage of LGBTQ voters and their representation in the general population may be undercounted, because not all LGBTQ people will self-identify to pollsters.
“Over the last three elections, the share of LGBTQ voters has continued to increase, solidifying our community as a key rising constituency that politicians must court,” HRC President Alphonso David said in a statement. “Our issues matter, our votes matter and politicians around the country have taken notice. But this development did not occur in a single cycle. Over the last two decades, and especially over the last four years, our community has organized to protect our rights – rights that have been under attack and on the ballot. “In the most consequential election of our lifetimes, LGBTQ people showed our strength.”
Perhaps because of the large LGBTQ turnout, many first-time LGBTQ candidates were elected in an election night of historic firsts: Stephanie Byers became the first out Transgender person elected to the Kansas legislature, and the first Trans person of color elected to any state legislature in the US. Sarah MacBride became the first Trans state senator in US history when she overwhelmingly won a seat in Delaware’s Senate. She is also the HRC’s national press secretary. Taylor Small was elected the first Trans state legislator in Vermont. Torrey Harris and Eddie Mannis became the first two openly LGBTQ people ever elected to the Tennessee state legislature. Charmaine McGuffey became the first out Lesbian sheriff of Hamilton County, Ohio, which includes Cincinnati. Brandon Thomas, another openly LGBTQ state House candidate in Tennessee, is in a contest that is still undecided. (Seattle Gay News – Mike Andrew at http://www.sgn.org/sgnnews48_45/page2.cfm)
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