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Ahead of the midterms, Black women voters most concerned about cost of living, poll shows

Donna Owens | NBC News | October 16th, 2022

A new national poll of Black women voters reveals a demographic that is highly motivated to vote in the 2022 midterm elections, with an overwhelming majority citing “pocketbook” issues, like the cost of housing and groceries as core concerns. Among this well-established key voting bloc, reproductive rights and crime/gun violence also emerged as concerns. 

Change Research conducted the online survey of 715 adult Black women voters who were recruited through web and text messages. The poll, which was conducted from Sept. 29 to Oct. 4 and had a 4% margin of error, was commissioned by Higher Heights Leadership Fund, a nonprofit organization that is associated with Higher Heights for America PAC, a political action committee that works to elect Black progressive women nationwide.   

In the survey, respondents provided one word or phrase to describe Black female representation in politics before the pivotal midterms next month, which will determine which party will control Congress and statehouses around the country. The majority of Black women who responded said they believed they were “underrepresented,” or that “more representation” was needed. Nearly two-thirds (67%) said they were more motivated to vote now than ever. 

The number of Black eligible voters has grown steadily in recent years and is projected to reach 32.7 million by November, according to a Pew Research Center report. Black women represent 53% of Black eligible voters, slightly higher than all eligible voters (51%) in the country. 

The Higher Heights survey found a plethora of issues that could drive Black women to the polls next month. A majority (76 %) of Black women said they were “extremely worried” about inflation and rising costs of everyday essentials — namely, rent and housing, groceries, gas and affordable health care. One-third (33%) cited rising costs of rent and housing as their top concern, including 36% of those under 50.

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