With Election Day a little less than a month out, the long-running tradition of poll watching is now front and center in most political news coverage. Details from a new poll released Tuesday suggest Black voters want Donald Trump ousted, but many are still undecided and want messaging and campaign policy details to help sway their decision.
Black Futures Lab (BFL), working in conjunction with HIT Strategies, shared its latest polling numbers tallying the opinions of registered Black voters across a number of key swing states. The consensus overall is that many of the surveyed voters are engaged in making Trump a one-term president while focusing on pertinent issues of racism, the economy and the still-surging coronavirus pandemic.
Alicia Garza — BFL’s principal and one of the founders of the Movement for Black Lives — said in a statement that the survey illustrates there is a push for new national leadership amid the public health crisis and incidents of racially-charged violence against Black people.
“We are voting for our lives this November. Black voters are saying loudly and clearly that they are unhappy with the country on every single level — with the direction of this country, Trump’s presidency, and overall economic conditions — and that their votes can help to put our country on the path toward progress,” Garza said in part.
She continued: “But, less than a month out from the election, there are still Black voters who are unsure whether or not they will vote, and they need to hear from credible messengers how and why their vote has the power to shift our country back on track.”
BFL’s poll featured a sampling of messages aimed at Black voters to test their ability to empower the group to become active civic participants and use the power of democracy in their favor. During Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden‘s first debate, race relations and the national unrest around the matter was essentially glossed over as moderator Chris Wallace was unable to reel in the dueling hopefuls after they gave rambling, vague and fleeting attention to those concerns.
Among the many key data points from BFL’s poll, it highlights that 55 percent of Black voters noted that racism is a top priority, with the coronavirus pandemic at 52 percent and the economy at 35 percent. In a lower grouping of issues, healthcare was seen as important by 29 percent of the polled, criminal justice came in at 21 percent and gun violence sat at 17 percent.
In regards to the national climate, 66 percent of Black voters polled indicated that economic conditions are paltry at best, with 63 percent of voters being either “very dissatisfied” or “somewhat dissatisfied” with the direction of the country. An overwhelming majority of 64 percent “strongly disapprove” of Trump’s job performance, contrasting with 12 percent who “somewhat disapprove.”
BFL’s poll does beg the question of what undecided voters haven’t seen as of yet with just 28 days to go before the presidential election. And as with most polls, the BFL survey of over 800 rural, immigrant and LGBTQ voters and concluded this past September is just a small sampling of opinions that will surely change from poll to poll.
Learn more about BFL’s findings here.