It was not so long ago that President George W. Bush won a presidential election thanks to a series of anti–gay marriage referenda put on the ballot by GOP legislatures in states like Ohio. Things have definitely changed since then, with the Supreme Court declaring marriage equality a constitutional right in 2015. Now, conservatives are facing a setback in their one fallback issue when it comes to LGBT rights: preventing transgender people from using the public bathroom of their choice.
The new Monmouth University poll for North Carolina finds that Governor Pat McCrory (R), who signed a restrictive bathroom law earlier this year, trailing Democratic state Attorney General Roy Cooper by a solid margin of 52 percent to 43 percent.
The poll drilled down on the bathrooms issue—and the public doesn’t seem to be happy about it, after it resulted in corporations leaving the state and the loss of the NBA All-Star game:
15. Do you approve or disapprove of H.B. 2 – the state law that prohibits local governments from allowing transgendered people to use the public restroom of their choice?
9% (VOL) No opinion
16. Regardless of whether you approve of the law do you think passing H.B. 2 has been good or bad for North Carolina’s reputation nationally, or has it had no impact on the state’s reputation?
14% No impact
7% (VOL) Don’t know
When the Republican Party and the conservative activist movement try to put themselves back together after this election, they could be facing a stark reality: Any kind of anti-LGBT campaign could be a vote-loser in the swing states.