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The Black Ballot: Black Women candidates

Source: iOne Creative Services

This midterm election cycle, Black women are heading to the polls with a number of concerns weighing heavy on their heads amid the rising inflation crisis. According to a new survey published by Change Research, a large majority of Black female voters are “extremely worried” about soaring inflation costs and how it will impact life essentials like rent, housing, and affordable health care.

The poll, which surveyed 715 Black female voters, found that approximately 76% of participants were concerned about the rising cost of inflation. Thirty-three percent cited rising costs of rent and housing as their top concern. Thirty-six percent of participants, who were under the age of 50, also expressed concerns about housing affordability.

Among the key voting demographic, reproductive rights, gun violence and climate change were other issues weighing heavy on voters’ minds as they gear up to cast their ballots.

“A multitude of issues are of deep concern to our community, from the rising cost of housing and other basic goods to restrictions on abortion access to threats to honest education for our children,” Glynda Carr, president, and CEO of Higher Heights told NBC News. “Black women are not single-issue voters — we sit at the intersection of the most pressing issues facing our nation.”

Change Research’s new poll was conducted from Sept. 29 to Oct. 4 and had a 4% margin error, according to NBC.

Black women were heavily impacted during the pandemic

Black women have suffered a number of setbacks both pre and post-pandemic. Between 2020 and 2021, nearly 11,000 Black women left the workforce due to economic hardship, the 19th News revealed in a report. The massive exodus was exacerbated by devasting job loss in sectors like child care and hospitality, two fields where Black women are heavily employed. Both were slow to recover as the pandemic calmed down.

In June, the unemployment rate for Black women fell to 5.6%. However, the labor force participation rate, which tracks how many people are employed or searching for work, slipped from 62.7% in May to 62%, according to CNBC. Inflation will add another threat to those actively surging for new employment and for those struggling to catch up from the damage that COVID caused during the height of the pandemic.

Similar concerns have popped up in other surveys. In the Spring, the annual Black Women’s Roundtable and Essence “Power of the Sister Vote” poll found that 34% of responders were worried about the economy, while 33% were concerned about discrimination and systemic racism.

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