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HRC to Spend $15 Million to Rally 'Equality Voters' in Swing States

Kilian Melloy READ TIME: 3 MIN.

The Human Rights Campaign is stepping up to the tune of $15 million to energize "equality voters" in half a dozen swing states, even as polling continues to show Donald Trump gaining ground with younger voters and minorities.

"The spending blitz," NBC News reported, "will cover the six key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada."

NBC News said that "HRC estimates that this year there will be 75 million 'equality voters' – who vote based on support for LGBTQ rights – up from 62 million in 2020 and 52 million in 2016."

"But the group says one-third of them aren't a lock for Biden," NBC News added. "In the six key swing states, hundreds of thousands are 'at risk of not voting,' and another group of hundreds of thousands of voters are what HRC refers to as 'double doubters' who will likely defect to a third party, according to data HRC shared with NBC News."

Indeed, in a poll taken earlier this month with Suffolk University, USA Today found that "1 in 4 registered voters (24%) say they might change their minds ahead of November's election, and 12% haven't made a choice yet."

While the narrative had long been that voters are not giving President Biden credit for the economy being as strong as it is, Israel's war on Hamas has also roiled voters.

Meanwhile, Democrats are hoping that the preservation of women's reproductive rights continue to deliver wins for them on the national stage after the issue proved persuasive with voters in various states.

Third-party spoilers present another danger, USA Today noted, pointing out that "8% are now supporting independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and an additional 5% backing other third-party contenders."

"The election carries high stakes for the future of national policy when it comes to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans," NBC News relayed, noting that President Biden has "advanced the cause by codifying same-sex marriage nationwide, allowing transgender people in the military and directing agencies to support LGBTQ equality."

"Trump, meanwhile, has blasted 'left-wing gender insanity' and vowed to roll back government programs backing trans rights and punish doctors who provide gender-affirming care to minors," the report went on to say, before observing that another Trump appointee to the Supreme Court could push the bench even farther to the right.

The Court's conservative jurists include three Trump appointees. The Court lost no time after gaining a 6-3 conservative super-majority in rolling back a half-century of Constitutional protections for women with the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022.

NBC News said that Trump "has encouraged a growing and well-organized conservative backlash against some parts of the pro-LGBTQ movement, with schools, women's sports and public bathrooms turning into fronts in the culture war."

That coordinated attack on sexual and gender minorities has succeeded in moving the needle on Americans' support for LGBTQ+ rights and protections, NBC News reported.

"Support ticked down for same-sex marriage and LGBTQ nondiscrimination policies, and grew for permitting religious-based service refusals" in a recent poll, the news organization relayed – a reversal that comes after years of progress and growing public acceptance of queer Americans.

"We are seeing an incredible backlash in states across the country to the progress that we've made," Kelly Roberson, the president of HRC, warned, adding that the attack on LGBTQ+ equality is being "led by an opposition that doesn't want us to have the rights we have today."

by Kilian Melloy , EDGE Staff Reporter

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.

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