Today, HRC and Equality North Carolina hailed Governor-Elect Roy Cooper’s victory — which crossed the crucial 10,000 vote mark today — and called on Pat McCrory to concede in the North Carolina gubernatorial race immediately. 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. The latest tally shows McCrory 10,329 votes behind. Because Cooper has a 10,000 vote margin of victory, McCrory is no longer entitled to a recount paid for by taxpayers, but he may request one at his own expense.
“North Carolina just sent a powerful message to the entire country: the days of preying on LGBTQ people for political gain is over,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “McCrory failed to listen to the majority of fair-minded North Carolinians who know that anti-LGBTQ hatred has no place in their state — and he lost big because of it. Roy Cooper is a powerful voice for equality and has vowed to work to overturn the hateful and discriminatory HB2. It’s long past time for McCrory to accept reality, concede and let Roy Cooper get on with the important job of actually working on behalf of every North Carolinian.”
“Today, we have hit another milestone in the Governor’s race, that Roy Cooper has clearly won. The margin is now above 10,000 votes. This marks a decisive victory for Roy Cooper and does not allow for an automatic recount given the size of the margin,” said Equality North Carolina Executive Director Chris Sgro. “It’s time for Pat McCrory to concede this race immediately to make sure that the state of North Carolina can go along it’s business with Governor Cooper at its helm.”
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” and “Pat McCrory: Bad for Business.”
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. Earlier this week the Republican-controlled State Board of Elections issued an order requiring dismissal of all 52 of those protests. In a powerful editorial today headlined, “McCrory will be remembered for this lack of grace,” The Charlotte Observer wrote yesterday that McCrory “and his fellow scaremongers have disrespected democracy…”