With less than one week remaining before Election Day, LGBT supporters of Hillary Clinton remain confident she’s headed to victory over Donald Trump in her bid for the White House.
Richard Socarides, a gay New York-based Democratic activist and Clinton supporter, said he’s “feeling pretty confident” Clinton will win, but reminded LGBT people to go to the polls to make it happen.
“We all have to go vote though,” Socarides said. “And everyone who can needs to volunteer. It makes me crazy when I hear people say Trump hasn’t targeted us. When he maligns and insults women and racial and ethnic minorities, they are us. And the actions he wants to take and the people he wants to appoint to the Court, they will claw back every advance we’ve made in the last eight years.”
Socarides said the thought of President Trump is “a nightmare scenario” in part because of “the homophobes he’ll put on the Supreme Court,” which could reverse advancements in LGBT rights.
Generally speaking, signs look good for Clinton. Gay political statistician Nate Silver, who operates FiveThirtyEight.com, gave Clinton a 70.7 percent chance of winning the election as of Wednesday.
According to the New York Times, Clinton enjoys a slim lead over Trump in early-voter turnout in several swing states. An estimated 21 million people have already cast their ballots through the early voting process, including close to one-fourth of the electorate in states likely to decide the election: Florida, Colorado and Nevada.
But in the aftermath of FBI Director James Comey’s disclosure that a renewed investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server is underway as a result of new evidence found in a separate investigation of Anthony Weiner sexting an underage teen, there are signs of trouble for Clinton.
A poll from ABC News, which has polled presidential elections in the week before Election Day each year since 1992, gave Trump a one-point lead over Clinton. For the most part, this ABC News poll has correctly predicted the election, except in 2012 and 2004.
Another poll from WRAL News in the swing state of North Carolina, where Clinton previously enjoyed a slim lead, shows Trump now enjoys a substantial seven-point lead in the race. Fifty-one percent of poll responders said they would vote for Trump compared to 44 percent for Clinton.
Alvin McEwen, a gay Clinton supporter and South Carolina blogger who writes for “Holy Bullies & Headless Monsters,” discounted the North Carolina poll as an outlier and said “others don’t show the same thing.”
“But regardless of how she has been ahead or behind, I knew she wasn’t going to have an easy time of it,” McEwen said. “It’s not usual to have foreign bodies working to make a candidate lose. And I’m talking Wikileaks, which I have never trusted. I don’t like foreign bodies meddling in our elections. And that’s not even counting the FBI junk.”
As LGBT advocates and Clinton supporters point out, the LGBT rights advances seen under eight years of President Obama are riding on the election. Trump has pledged to appoint to the U.S. Supreme Court jurists in the mold of the late U.S. Associate Justice Antonin Scalia. That could result in the reversal of the ruling in favor of marriage equality nationwide, although such an outcome is unlikely.
But it’s not just the Supreme Court. Many of the LGBT rights advances are the result of executive actions under the Obama administration, and Trump, who has vowed to roll back actions he believes are unconstitutional, could reverse them. The candidate has already said he’d reverse guidance protecting transgender students at schools from discrimination.
Meanwhile, Clinton supports comprehensive LGBT non-discrimination legislation known as the Equality Act; has committed to herself to tackling anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and violence; and has pledged to build on Obama’s executive actions to ensure the prohibition on gender discrimination under current law applies to LGBT people.
Hilary Rosen, a lesbian D.C.-based Democratic activist and Clinton supporter, emphasized the risk to the LGBT community of a Trump presidency.
“I am confident that Hillary will win,” Rosen said. “And nothing in Huma Abedin’s emails would matter more to me than the threat of a Supreme Court whose justices are appointed by Donald Trump and the GOP.”