Caitlyn Jenner Media Blitz Not Changing American Minds on Transgender People

People's Opinions In Swing States Largely Unaffected

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The July 2015 cover of Vanity Fair.
The July 2015 cover of Vanity Fair.

Caitlyn Jenner captured the public's attention with her Diane Sawyer interview and Vanity Fair cover, but did her revelation change the public's view of transgender people?

In swing states, not really.

A large majority of respondents in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio said in a Quinnipiac University poll that Ms. Jenner's transition did not change their minds one way or another on transgender people. In Florida, 79% said the transition didn't make them feel more or less accepting of transgender people. Eighty-one percent said the same in Ohio and 84% in Pennsylvania.

Slightly more people in those states have a favorable impression of Jenner than don't, the poll also revealed. In Florida, 33% of those polled had a favorable impression of Jenner, and 29% had an unfavorable impression. In Ohio, that figure was 34% favorable, 32% unfavorable; and in Pennsylvania it was 35% favorable, 33% unfavorable.

Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, went public with her decision to transition to a woman in April during a "20/20" special on ABC with Diane Sawyer. The two-hour show was a ratings bonanza for "20/20," which drew 16.9 million total viewers -- the most in 15 years.

She revealed her new name and look little more than a month later on the cover of Vanity Fair. The image of the cover, which was first posted to Vanity Fair's website, fetched more than 9 million unique visitors in a single day, the most ever for the magazine's site. And it became a trending topic on social media, attracting 30,000 mentions in the first 24 hours -- six times more than Kim Kardashian's "break the internet" Paper magazine cover.

That same week, E! released the first preview of its new show with Ms. Jenner, "I Am Cait."

Despite the widespread attention, brands stayed on the sidelines, declining to chime in on Ms. Jenner. And as of three weeks ago, she had not spoken with any companies about potential sponsorships, a person familiar with the matter told Ad Age. Bruce Jenner, meanwhile, parlayed his gold medal performance at the 1976 Summer Olympics into a Wheaties box as well as other endorsements.

~With Bloomberg News~

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