Today, HRC and Equality North Carolina issued the following statements after Pat McCrory finally accepted defeat in the North Carolina governor’s race. With a stunning 66 percent of North Carolina voters reporting opposition to HB2 in exit polling, it’s clear that HB2 cost McCrory his re-election bid. According to polling commissioned by HRC and ENC and performed by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, 57 percent of voters put HB2 as the top reason “not to vote for Pat McCrory” — exceeding any other issue by 17 points.
“Pat McCrory’s reign of discrimination is finally over. McCrory’s stubborn and reckless support of HB2 cost him this election, and his defeat sends a powerful warning to lawmakers across the country that targeting LGBTQ people will not be tolerated,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We look forward to working with Governor-elect Roy Cooper and fair-minded lawmakers to repeal HB2. It’s way past time to repair the harm inflicted on North Carolina’s people, reputation and economy.”
“Governor McCrory has finally conceded, and now it is time for the state and people of North Carolina to get on with our business of rebuilding,” said Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro. “Roy Cooper is a champion of equality and for North Carolina values, and he is the right person to lead our great state moving forward. This was a hard-fought election, but the people of North Carolina clearly know that Roy Cooper will be the best leader for our state. This is a proud day for especially LGBT North Carolinians, who can now celebrate a Governor who cares deeply about our community.”
Between August and Election Day, TurnOUT NC — a project of the Human Rights Campaign and Equality North Carolina — held more than 260 get-out-the-vote events in Charlotte and Raleigh on behalf of HRC and ENC endorsed candidates. TurnOUT NC communicated to members and supporters through targeted social media, door-knocking, phone calls, direct mail, text message alerts and email alerts. The TurnOUT NC program generated more than 24 million impressions online to members and supporters encouraging them to vote for pro-equality candidates. HRC and ENC also released a series of ads targeting pro-equality voters, including “Lennie & Pearl for Roy Cooper,” “Pat McCrory: Bad for Business,” and “North Carolina Mom for Roy Cooper.”
In 2012, Pat McCrory was elected with an 11 percent margin of victory. Not only did HB2 cost McCrory his re-election, it dragged down several state candidates. HRC and ENC endorsed Roy Cooper for Governor and Josh Stein for Attorney General, who both won, as well as four challenger races that also declared victory: Rep. Cynthia Ball (D), Chaz Beasley (D), Joe John (D) and Mary Belk (D).
Instead of accepting the fact that voters rejected his bid for re-election, McCrory launched an all-out effort to throw the integrity of the election into question by lodging baseless voter protests in more than half of the state’s 100 counties. The Republican-controlled State Board of Elections issued an order requiring dismissal of all 52 of those protests. McCrory’s tactics garnered widespread criticism. In a powerful editorial headlined, “McCrory will be remembered for this lack of grace,” The Charlotte Observer wrote that McCrory “and his fellow scaremongers have disrespected democracy…”