Black voters want bold measures passed, according to a new poll. Black to the Future Action Fund conducted a “temperature check” poll in July 2021 with Socioanalítica Research.
Those polled were favorable in their opinions of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. In recent remarks responding to the budget reconciliation, Black to the Future’s Principal Alicia Garza called on Democrats to “go bold or go home.”
“Our poll findings clearly show that Black people overwhelmingly support the progressive vision of the Build Back Bolder mandate and demand that White House and Democratic lawmakers do what it takes to be bold and unwavering in their commitment to tackling the issues that disproportionately impact our communities, such as economic recovery and protecting our right to vote,” said Alicia Garza in a statement.
There has been a narrative that Black voters are pragmatic or moderate. But this data suggests such framing is overly simplistic as it pertains to the Black electorate.
Overall, the top four legislative priorities were $2,000 relief checks until the economy has rebounded, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, addressing systemic racism and white supremacy, and protecting voting rights. Eliminating the filibuster also rated high, with 71 percent of respondents approving a simple majority to pass legislation.
Dr. Juhem Navarro-Rivera, a pollster and analyst with Socioanalítica Research, provided an overview of the poll’s methodology. Conducted online in English, the poll was a nationally representative poll of 1,002 Black adults living in the U.S. It is a recurring poll that will check in periodically with Black adults to get a sense of their concerns and priorities.
During a briefing, Navarro-Rivera noted that this poll differed from many that usually depict the Black community as a monolith. “There were also notable generational differences in opinion,” explained Navarro-Rivera. “This recurring survey is vital in helping to grow the data-driven approach we take when it comes to representing Black communities in politics because an accurate reflection of our diverse sentiments is crucial.”
With news of the Supreme Court Overturning eviction moratorium, Navarro-Rivera pointed to findings showing 70 percent of those polled supported an eviction and foreclosure ban. Renters polled were twice as likely to say they were behind in rental payments than homeowners were behind in mortgages. Seventy-five percent of adults supported canceling rent and mortgage payments until the economy recovered.
Another major Democratic priority, student loan debt forgiveness, ranked fifth in order of priority. Tiffany Flowers, campaign manager of The Frontline, said the data highlights that Black families are plagued by various problems only made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Check any metric you want: vaccination rates, Black unemployment rates, rent and mortgage payments, and more,” Flowers began. “You’ll find that we are still disproportionately being impacted by the pandemic and are still feeling the economic damage on a macro-scale.”
Born out of the energy and demands of last summer’s racial justice uprisings, The Frontline is an initiative from Working Families Party, Movement for Black Lives Electoral Justice Project, United We Dream, and Rising Majority. As a campaign, The Frontline continues to push for bold legislative changes to uplift Black and other impacted communities.
According to Flowers, continuing to tap into the pulse of Black communities with a new poll every two months provides a resource for policymakers to shape future legislation better.
“Our communities are clearly in a state of emergency,” Flowers remarked. “Our future depends on a just recovery with better healthcare outcomes and large-scale economic investment.”