- The Magazine
A post-election memo claims that the primary reason fueling President Donald Trump’s loss in the most recent presidential election was his racist rhetoric and attacks on people of color, immigrants, and members of the LGBTQ community.
According to polling by GQR, on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign, 45% of people who cast votes against Trump said one of the top three reasons for why they opposed the president was his verbal attacks, or actions taken by his administration against marginalized groups. Thirty-seven percent said that one of the top three reasons they opposed Trump was that the president “failed to protect the country from the coronavirus.”
Thirty-three percent cited Trump’s “tweeting, bullying, and unpresidential behavior” as a primary reason to oppose him, while 30% cited his hostility to the environment and denial of climate change.
In contrast, the most important reasons to support Biden were that he would have a better response to the COVID-19 pandemic, that he would stand up for marginalized groups targeted by Trump, that he would prioritize working people’s interest over that of corporations, and his dedication to lowering the cost of health insurance coverage and protecting people with pre-existing conditions. Among Biden voters, issues related to equality ranked second among reasons they supported him for the presidency.
The memo also claims that, despite anti-LGBTQ attacks employed against Biden in ads — notably, the false claim that he supports gender confirmation surgeries for children — the attacks seem to not be as effective, with the issue of Biden’s support for the transgender community ranking dead last among the reasons why pro-Trump voters opposed Biden.
Among so-called “Equality Voters,” or those for whom a candidate’s position on LGBTQ issues is likely to sway their vote, Biden won 79%, compared to Trump’s 19%. By comparison, the baseline spread for all those surveyed by GQR was 51%-48% in favor of Biden, much closer to the 4.5 point-margin of victory Biden won in the popular vote.
The memo also noted that despite the 2020 Edison exit survey claiming that Biden’s support among LGBTQ voters was significantly less than the 3-1 margins previously enjoyed by other Democrats, other exit polls placed Biden’s support among LGBTQ individuals much higher, with the 2020 AP Vote Cast exit survey claiming Biden received support from 73% of LGBTQ voters, and a post-election survey commissioned by GLAAD placing Biden’s support at 81%. GQR’s own findings were much closer to the GLAAD survey numbers, with 83% of self-identified LGBTQ voters casting a ballot for the president-elect.
When asked about their support for legislation like the Equality Act, a comprehensive nondiscrimination bill that would make it illegal to deny services to LGBTQ people, 70% of those surveyed by GQR said they support such a law, with only 21% opposed.
Voters also support overturning Trump’s ban on transgender military service by a 59%-30% margin, with 78% of Equality Voters backing such a move. Voters also overwhelmingly oppose regulations introduced during the Trump administration that seek to carve out religiously-based exemptions allowing hospitals, doctors, or insurance companies to discriminate against LGBTQ people. When asked, 67% of voters support reinstating LGBTQ protections in health care and insurance, with even a plurality of Trump voters — 48% — supporting such protections.
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