A new poll of registered Black voters in key Senate battleground states commissioned by BlackPAC and released Tuesday shows that while Black voters report being energized and excited to vote in the 2022 midterms — with 81 percent saying they will definitely vote — there are warning signs on the horizon for Senate Democrats and the Biden administration. More than a third of Black voters say they’re not familiar with the offices up for election in 2022, and among younger Black voters, 41 percent say they’re unfamiliar with those offices.
Rampant voter suppression efforts currently underway in statehouses across the country should be an urgent concern for Democrats, as the poll indicates that in the 2020 election, 76 percent of Black voters utilized mail-in voting, early in-person voting or drop boxes to cast their ballots — the very same voting methods that are now under attack.
Looking ahead to the 2022 midterms, 75 percent of Black voters approve of the job Senate Democrats are currently doing. However, they expressed their clear expectation that Democrats deliver on their policy promises, with 78 percent saying that addressing priority issues for Black communities would be necessary to ensure Black voters’ participation in the midterm elections.
Halfway through President Biden’s first 100 days, Black communities have renewed optimism in their government and national leaders. With a Biden-Harris administration and Democratic majority in Congress, 63 percent of Black voters report being satisfied with the direction of the country and give Biden a 87 percent job approval rating.
“With the new administration and a Democratic majority in the Senate, we’re seeing a sea change in support for our federal government after four years of utter incompetence. But make no mistake — Democrats cannot be complacent,” said Adrianne Shropshire, BlackPAC Executive Director. “Expanding Democrats’ majorities in the House and Senate will require them to continue passing progressive policies that address racial inequality and fight back against voter suppression tactics wherever they occur. That means prioritizing bills like the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and the For the People Act, both of which intentionally address the concerns of Black communities and protect our democracy. All of this data suggests an urgent need for early communication with Black voters about the midterm elections and the importance of Democrats clearly communicating to voters their efforts to make good on their campaign promises.”
BlackPAC’s poll, which contains an oversample of Gen Z Black voters, reveals key differences among the youngest, newest cohort of Black voters and underscores the need for Democrats to deploy a unique, intentional strategy to reach these voters.
The BlackPAC poll also shows Black voters are ready and eager to take the COVID-19 vaccine, suggesting that lagging vaccination rates among African American communities is not an issue of trust in the vaccine but rather of disparate access. 71% of Black voters are confident that the vaccine for COVID-19 is safe, showing no major differences from the national average. Black voters also point to Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as their most trusted sources of information on the pandemic.
More Key Takeaways from BlackPAC’s Findings:
There are signs of optimism about the state of the economy
- 37% of voters say economic conditions in the country are getting better. In BlackPAC’s April 2020 poll, 72% said the economy was getting worse.
- Still, 28% of voters say the economy is staying the same and 27% say the economy is getting worse
Key policy priorities for Black voters include paycheck fairness, voting rights, investment in Black communities
- BlackPAC’s poll surveyed voters on their policy priorities for Congress and the administration. Voters named as their top issues:
- The John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act
- The Justice in Policing Act
- The American Rescue Plan
- Advancing a climate policy that invests in Black and other marginalized communities
- Ending wage discrimination and strengthening hate crime laws
- Reversing family separation policies at the border
Senate Democrats get good marks on how they are handing their job.
- 75 percent of Black voters approve of the way Democrats in the Senate are doing their job.
- On the other hand, only 16 percent of Black voters approve of the way Republicans in the Senate are doing their job.
- 78 percent of Black voters agree that Democrats must deliver on priority issues for the Black community if they want Black voters to participate in the upcoming midterm election.
The poll surveyed 1018 Black registered voters, from 2022 Senate battleground states (FL, GA, MO NC, NV, OH, PA, WI), with an oversample of 150 Gen Z registered voters (18-24 years old). The survey was conducted by phone from late February to early March. The margin of error overall is +/- 3.0 percent, with a 95 percent confidence interval.