As some background on the polling, this survey was conducted by Daily Kos/Civiqs and included 1,248 registered voters in the United States. It was conducted online from April 23 to April 26, 2022. Results are weighted by factors including region, age, race, gender, political party identification, and education to be representative of the population of registered voters in the U.s. The survey has a margin of error of ± 2.8% at a confidence level of 95%.
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While the survey results cover a number of exciting and relevant topics, including Joe Biden’s approval rating, student debt forgiveness, book bans, and Biden’s campaign promises, there are several important questions regarding trans rights specifically.
Let’s start with the foundational: Are issues involving transgender rights important to you? Just over one-quarter of respondents said trans issues are very important to them, while another quarter said they’re “somewhat” important, nearly one-third said they’re not important at all, and 2% said they’re unsure.
Forty-three percent of respondents believe that trans folks face discrimination, harassment, and attacks on their rights in the U.S. today, while a concerning 41% believe trans folks already have equal rights and want “special” treatment. About 13% of respondents said neither statement matches their perception, and about 3% said they are unsure.
In terms of gender-affirming health care, responses are pretty divided. About 35% of respondents believe this anti-trans legislation is actually helping trans youth (it isn’t) while about 48% believe it is hurting them. Just under 10% of respondents feel it’s neither helping nor hurting (which is strange, but I digress), and about 8% of respondents are unsure.
Lastly, we have to talk about trans folks and sports. This is one of the subjects that gets the biggest emotional reactions in general (as well as here on Daily Kos) and the numbers here seem to mirror that range of feelings. The survey asked if legislation being pushed around the nation barring trans youth from participating on teams that align with their gender identity is helping or hurting.
Forty-five percent of respondents said the legislation is helping, 36% said it’s hurting, 9% said neither, and 8% said they’re unsure. The question doesn’t ask if the legislation is helping trans youth versus helping cisgender youth, so the results here are additionally nuanced in that it’s difficult to parse out where people are coming from in their rationale: Are they prioritizing the feelings of cisgender people, or only responding as a means of punishing trans youth? On the one hand it doesn’t matter, but on the other, it can be useful to understand these dimensions when it comes to messaging and advocacy.
It is useful to look at these responses as broken down by political party. For example, just 5% of Republicans believe trans people face discrimination. I’m willing to bet nearly everyone here at Daily Kos is going to find that number as disturbingly (and unrealistically) low as I do, and yet there it is. On the other hand, more than 80% of Democrats believe trans people face discrimination. Less than 15% of Republican respondents believe legislation banning gender-affirming health care hurts trans youth. Meanwhile, more than 80% of Democrats recognize these efforts as harmful.
As some other additional findings, women and people living in urban areas were more likely to say trans issues are very important to them. Men and people in rural areas were more likely to believe trans folks want special treatment. A concerning number of young voters believe trans folks want special treatment, with 39% of voters between 18 and 34 saying so.
More than three-quarters of respondents who frequently watch Fox News believe trans folks want special treatments, whereas just 7% of folks who watch MSNBC frequently believe the same.
Sixty-six percent of Republicans believe anti-trans legislation barring youth from accessing gender-affirming health care is helping, whereas just 7% of Democrats feel that way. Similarly, more than 80% of Republicans believe anti-trans sports legislation is helping whereas just 10% of Democrats think so.
You can check out a more in-depth write-up of this data from my colleague, Carolyn Fiddler.
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