Black to the Future Action Fund and HIT Strategies has released the first in a series of three polls of Black voters in Georgia, North Carolina, and California, highlighting the priority issues that are driving Black voters to the polls ahead of the midterm elections.
In a report called, ‘Black Voter Bulletin: Priorities and Satisfaction in North Carolina, Georgia, and California,’ the two organizations surveyed 1,200 Black voters in Georgia, California, and North Carolina about their political and economic outlooks, with an oversample of 100 Black rural voters in Georgia and North Carolina. The poll shows that quality of life issues – inflation and cost of living, crime, and gun violence – dominate concerns for Black voters in California, North Carolina, and Georgia with inflation and cost of living top of mind across all states and among voters 35-55.
Across the country, states continue to pass voter suppression laws, and misinformation and disinformation targeted at Black voters to undermine and depress Black voter turnout. Respondents to the poll named “politicians making it harder for Black communities to vote” as a highly motivating reason to head to the polls in November. Despite these attempts, Black voters across each of the three states polled believe that their vote holds power and remain motivated to engage in the electoral process.
The report found that in both Georgia and California, 68% of Black voters polled say their vote holds power, while Black voters in North Carolina came in at 58%.
Black voters in California, Georgia, and North Carolina also overwhelmingly believe that it is important to engage in political discussion and to vote, with 89% of those polled probably or almost certainly voting.
Additionally, in all three states, over 90% of Black voters believe that it is important to engage others (CA: 92%, GA: 92%, NC: 91%).
“Republicans want you to think Black voters are flocking to them, but the reality is that Black voters are going to the polls with our priorities in mind – priorities that lift up our communities that the GOP doesn’t have policies for,” said Alicia Garza, Principal of Black to the Future Action Fund. “Elected officials and candidates in these states must prioritize economic recovery, protecting voter rights and access, and combating white supremacist violence to be responsive to their Black constituents.”
When asked about the Biden/Harris administration, Black voters said they believe conditions have improved for education, student loan debt, and jobs/the economy. Respondents also said that inflation and the cost of living, crime and gun violence, the cost of housing, white supremacist and nationalist violence, discrimination and racism, criminal justice reform/police brutality, and abortion access are getting worse.