DETROIT — Over seven in 10 Black women voters (74%) in Michigan believe political candidates are failing to address the issues that are central to their lives, according to the findings of an online poll of 525 Michigan Black women that was released today by Mothering Justice and the National Women’s Law Center. The survey participants—featuring eligible and likely voters in the November 2020 election—view access to affordable, quality child care and reproductive health care, improved educational opportunities for their children, and an increased minimum wage as key priorities, among others. Black women are a powerful voting bloc and they will play a pivotal role in determining who wins the presidency in 2020. At a moment when presidential candidates are seeking women’s votes, this poll offers a window into the reality of Black women’s lives. The poll was conducted by Vision Strategy and Insights and was fielded from February 6-20, 2020.
“Black women are the most engaged voting bloc in the country, yet our priority concerns are seldom lifted in national discourse until they become too egregious to ignore, such as the case with the Black maternal health crisis,” said Eboni Taylor, Michigan Executive Director at Mothering Justice. “Why must our issues reach crisis-level before the leaders of our state and country even start the conversation? The poll urges politicians and lawmakers to take a closer look at the issues Black women care about the most and understand that our vote for any candidate must be accompanied by clear plans to address and resolve these challenges in Michigan, a 2020 battleground state, and nationwide.”
“The poll results send a clear message to politicians: it’s not enough to knock on the doors of Black women just days before an election and expect to get their support,” said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “Black women voters know their power—and they’re demanding a return on their investment from candidates. Black women in Michigan know they are at the bottom of several economic, health and social indicators in the state, and they expect candidates to listen to their concerns and offer solutions that will create economically thriving and healthy communities.”
Topline findings include:
- Black women in Michigan are highly skeptical of and feel ignored by political candidates. A significant majority (83%) of respondents say that political candidates are not present in or engaged with their community and almost eight in 10 say that politicians are ignoring their concerns. Nonetheless, 81% say they will vote in the general election and 72% say they will vote in the primary.
- Nearly all Black mothers (94%) have experienced difficulty finding and affording child care. A strong majority of Black mothers (84%) support increasing government funding to improve access to high-quality, affordable child care, and 81% agree that the government should provide funding to help child care providers pay their workers fairly and provide high-quality care. Moreover, 84% support a proposal that would increase the minimum pay for caregivers.
- Black women in Michigan strongly support access to pregnancy-related services and reproductive health care. Close to eight in 10 respondents (79%) agree that elected officials should ensure access to safe and supportive pregnancy-related services. Seven in 10 (70%) agree that elected officials should protect access to quality, affordable reproductive health care, including abortion and birth control.
- Black women in Michigan overwhelmingly support a higher minimum wage to improve the quality of life for working people – including raising the minimum wage for tipped workers — and most support paid family leave. Eight in 10 (81%) believe that Michigan should have a higher minimum wage that makes it easier for people to make ends meet. Among respondents whose employers do not offer either paid family leave or paid medical leave, more than two thirds (68%) report they are “extremely interested” in a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program in the state of Michigan.
You can access the full report here. Mothering Justice and National Women’s Law Center spokespeople are available to discuss the poll’s findings. Please contact Loretta Kane (email@example.com) or Maria Patrick (firstname.lastname@example.org) to schedule interviews.