A new report reveals that approximately 51% of Black voters say they are more motivated to vote this year compared to previous elections.
That motivation counts primarily because of a desire to elect Democrats or keep Republicans out of power, as well as a general willingness to change, according to an extensive survey jointly conducted by the nonprofit KFF and Allen Media Group.
The two organizations collaborated to take the temperature of Black voters ahead of the all-important Nov. 8 midterm elections.
The researchers concluded that the mood of Black voters currently is tempered by age, economy and racism.
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%).
Researchers reported that 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 found that Black voters are greatly concerned about the economy, inflation, health care and housing affordability.
At the same time, those voters also rank some non-economic issues necessary to their vote, including voter rights, gun violence, criminal justice, and policing.
Election integrity, housing costs and partisan identification were among the survey’s recurring factors.
Seven in ten Black voters said they’re worried about voter suppression interfering with a fair and accurate election in their state.
Nearly half – 46% – said they have had to wait in long lines at their polling places in the past.
About 20% said they 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, or were told they didn’t have the correct identification.
Meanwhile, 31% of Black voters said the cost of housing is the economic issue that they most want President Joe Biden and Congress to address, more than those who said the same about the cost of food (24%), health care (23%), gasoline (10%), or student debt (12%).
Also, three-quarters of Black voters said the issue of housing affordability counts as very important to their vote, including even higher shares of lower-income Black voters (84% of those with annual incomes under $40,000).
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,” researchers determined.
The researchers concluded that widespread unfavorable views of Biden among Black voters might temper their turnout.
They found that 70% of those who approve of Biden’s performance are “absolutely certain” they’ll vote, compared to 51% among those who disapprove of Biden.
“There’s a similar pattern in those who said they were ‘more motivated’ to vote in this election than in previous elections, 58% among those who approve of Biden versus 37% among those who disapprove of him,” the researchers noted.
They asserted that younger voters’ motivations to show up at the polls may also be “tamped by current social and economic issues that are more likely to affect them, or affect them more directly, like a difficult housing market and student debt.”