New Poll Released Ahead of Midterms Highlights Key Issues and Priorities for Black Women & Black Mom Voters in Michigan

Across the board, Black women voters said that their top motivating issues are reproductive freedom—chiefly abortion rights—and ensuring that everyone can afford to meet their families’ basic needs

DETROIT (November 3, 2022) – Despite shouldering the dual crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession it triggered for nearly three years, as well as national and state efforts to restrict reproductive rights, Black women voters in Michigan remain optimistic about the impact of their vote and the future that lies ahead.

But according to the findings of an online poll of Michigan voters that were released today by Mothering Justice and the National Women’s Law Center, Black women (along with their white women and men counterparts) are experiencing economic hardships and their top motivating issues ahead of midterm elections are reproductive freedom, chiefly abortion rights, and ensuring that everyone can afford to meet their families’ basic needs.

“Every day is yesterday’s future, and every day our voices are unheard is another day of struggle. The past three years of COVID have made prevalent truths more visible, and Black mothers’ beliefs remain substantially the same. We want to trust our leaders. We want our vote to count. This report is an opportunity to prove something that many of us have known for a long time – we want someone who wants to lead, not just someone who wants to be in office,” said Eboni Taylor, MI Executive Director, Mothering Justice. 

“The results of these polls are crystal clear: policy changes that are central to the lives of Black women and their families are central to every Michigander’s ability to thrive. If politicians want Black women’s support, they need to prioritize policies that support reproductive freedom and economic security for all,” said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “Michigan’s Black women voters need bold policies that address longstanding inequalities and an uneven economic recovery. Black women continuously deliver for Michigan, and Michigan’s leaders should deliver for Black women and their families.”

While they remain highly optimistic, Michigan’s Black women, and their white women and men counterparts, are still experiencing economic hardships. Policies that address systemic inequities and positively impact all Michiganders—especially women, families, young people and LGBTQ+ community members— were popular among all survey respondents, but Black women are even more likely to strongly support these policies. Topline findings include:

  • Workplace Justice: Black women voters strongly support expanding protections against harassment and discrimination for all. Nine in 10 Black women voters (91 percent) rated expanding protections against harassment and discrimination as important compared to 70 percent of white voters. 
  • Reproductive Freedom: Most Black women voters and white voters said it is important for government officials to establish the right to reproductive freedom to choose if, when, and how an individual begins a family; however, Black women voters are much likelier than white voters to say this. Eighty-seven percent of Black women said that the freedom to choose, if, when, and how to start a family is important compared to 78 percent of white voters.
  • Economic Security and Basic Needs: Nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) Black women said creating better jobs and increasing wages for all is important compared to nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) white voters. Nearly eight in 10 Black women voters (78 percent) rated meeting the basic needs of individuals and families as extremely important compared to more than seven in 10 (72 percent) white voters. 
  • Supports for Families: Black women are significantly more likely to rate measures that provide quality, affordable child care (87 percent) as important. In comparison, 67 percent of white voters said measures that provide quality, affordable child care are important. Nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) Black women said creating better jobs and increasing wages for all is important compared to nearly seven in 10 (68 percent) white voters.

Access the full report here. This survey report details some of the issues and key policies that are motivating likely voters, especially women of color in Michigan. Additional information about the survey’s methodology follows this release.

Mothering Justice and National Women’s Law Center spokespeople are available to discuss the poll’s findings.  


Mothering Justice

Mothering Justice is a grassroots policy advocacy organization that provides mothers of color in America with the resources and tools to use their power to make equitable changes in policy. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life for families in America by empowering mothers of color to take action on American policy on behalf of themselves and their families.

National Women’s Law Center

The National Women’s Law Center fights for gender justice–in the courts, in public policy, and in our society–working across the issues that are central to the lives of women and girls. For 50 years, we have used the law in all its forms to change culture and drive solutions to the gender inequity that shapes our society and to break down the barriers that harm all of us—especially women of color, LGBTQ people, and low-income women and families.


Survey Methodology

These findings are part of additional data collection across key states. In collaboration with state-based partners, the National Women’s Law Center commissioned an online survey to assess the policy needs of women of color voters in Michigan, Nevada, and Georgia. In Michigan, the National Women’s Law Center collaborated with Mothering Justice to commission this poll. The survey was administered by Vision Strategy and Insights during a three-week period, from August 4 through August 21, 2022. To draw a more dynamic picture about Black women in the state of Michigan, the survey encompassed a total of 528 online interviews: 327 among Black women voters and 201 among white voters (101 women and 100 men). Our focus on Black women led to our omission of Black men in order to provide a clear picture of Black women’s needs and concerns and to shift government officials’ disproportionate emphasis on white voters. The survey also included a readable sample of lower-income voters (under $60,000) and women with children. Respondents were specifically targeted as likely to vote in the November 2022 midterm election (6 or more on a 10-point scale) and represent a diverse spread across political ideologies.