Allen Media Group’s African American-focused news, lifestyle, and entertainment platform theGrio and KFF released a joint national survey examining the mood and views of Black voters, the only in-depth public survey this election cycle focused exclusively on this group, which has historically been a solid Democratic voting bloc but holds diverse views that often get overlooked in national polling. Coverage of the survey’s findings also begins today at theGrio.com and will run throughout the week on their website and cable television channel.
Unlike a typical national voter poll, the survey reaches a large enough sample of Black voters to examine variations by factors such as age, gender, education, and political affiliation.
The survey finds that about half (51%) of Black voters say they are more motivated to vote this year compared to previous elections, largely due to a desire to elect Democrats or keep Republicans out of power, as well as a general desire for change.
While large shares across groups express increased motivation this year, they are higher among older Black voters (58% of those ages 50 and older say they are more motivated to vote) and those who approve of President Biden (58%). Similar shares of those who identify as or lean Democrat (55%) and who identify as or lean Republican (54%) say they are more motivated this year.
The project finds that Black voters are greatly concerned about the economy, inflation, and the affordability of health care and housing. At the same time, these voters also rank some non-economic issues as important to their vote, including voter rights, gun violence, and criminal justice and policing.
Other key findings include:
Electoral integrity. Seven in ten (71%) of all Black voters say they are worried about voter suppression interfering with a fair and accurate election in their state. This may reflect Black voters’ experiences at the polls: Nearly half (46%) say they have had to wait in long lines at their polling place in the past, and one in five (20%) say they have either had their voter registration questioned or were told they were not registered to vote, requested a mail-in ballot that never arrived or arrived too late, had their mail-in ballot rejected, and/or were told they didn’t have the correct identification.
Housing costs. About three in ten (31%) Black voters say that the cost of housing is the economic issue that they most want President Biden and the Congress to address, more than those who say the same about the cost of food (24%), health care (23%), gasoline (10%), or student debt (12%). In addition, three-quarters of Black voters say the issue of housing affordability is very important to their vote, including even higher shares of lower-income Black voters (84% of those with annual incomes under $40,000), Black women voters (82%), and younger Black voters (78% of those under age 50).
Partisan identification. While about three quarters of Black voters identify as a Democrat (61%) or lean Democratic (13%), about one in ten identify as Republican (7%) or lean Republican (4%). A further 13% identify as independents or something else and do not lean toward either the Democratic or Republican party. These groups hold vastly different views than the Democratic majority, especially on recent Supreme Court decisions and gender and sexual identity issues.
TheGrio will begin rolling out its release of theGrio/KFF survey of Black voters on Oct. 18 through a series of original stories reported by the brand’s political team, including White House Correspondent April Ryan and senior correspondent Natasha S. Alford. The reporting will include insights from experts and stakeholders to contextualize some of the standout findings, from Black voters’ approval ratings of President Joe Biden (69%) and Vice President Kamala Harris (65%) to Black voters’ feelings about funding for police, and inflation and other economic issues (73%) as the biggest concern for Black voters and their families right now when asked to state this in their own words.
Additionally, theGrio will explore the survey’s findings on Black voters’ opinions of the Supreme Court since overturning Roe v. Wade and concerns over voter suppression through opinion columns from writers Touré and Michael Harriot. TheGrio’s reporters and columnists will also dissect the findings on the brand new television series “TheGrio with Eboni K. Williams” and “TheGrio with Marc Lamont Hill,” scheduled to debut Monday, October 24 on the platform’s cable channel.
The poll was jointly developed and analyzed by theGrio and KFF’s polling and survey research group and was conducted August 24-September 5 among a national probability-based sample of 1,000 adults ages 18 and older who identify as Black or African American and are registered to vote. Interviews were conducted in English online and by live telephone interviewers. The results from the full survey have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Each partner bears responsibility for its editorial content about the poll.