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In Focus Groups, Young and Black Democrats Expect Mistreatment of First Black Woman Supreme Court Nominee. They Want Dems to ‘Go to Bat’ for Nominee

Washington, D.C. | Feb. 17 – In two Feb. 7th focus groups, older Black voters, and young Democratic voters expressed concern that Senate Republicans would mistreat the first Black woman nominee to the Supreme Court. In response, they wanted Democrats to ‘go to bat’ for the eventual nominee. Regarding the nomination generally, older Black base focus group participants were unanimously supportive of President Biden’s commitment to nominating the first Black American woman to the Supreme Court, with one respondent saying that this represented him “following through on a promise.” 

The HIT focus groups sought to explore Democratic base voters’ reactions to current events. One focus group was with older Black base voters (strong Democrats ages 35+, voted in at least 4 of the following elections: 2020, 2018, 2016, 2014, 2012, 2008), and the other was with younger base voters (strong Democrats of different races, ages 20 to 34, voted in both 2020 and 2018). 

“Many Democratic voters are excited about the prospects of the first Black woman Supreme Court Justice nominee of the Court’s 232-year history,” said Roshni Nedungadi, HIT Strategies’ founding partner.  “Democrats wants her to receive a fair confirmation process, and that means defending her against racist attacks from Republicans.” 

Quotations from Focus Groups

“I don’t think they’re [Senate Democrats] going to be as aggressive as the Republicans. I think they’re going to support the nominee as best as they can, probably, but I don’t think they’re going to be trying to go below the belt like the Republicans. I think they’re going just to skate around or lay down or whatever.”Older Black woman, base 

“So if there’s any attacks on the procedure of the process, I would hope that they would point to the previous few justices nominated and say: one was rammed through in eight days, one of them wasn’t given the full scope of hearings. We kind of heard some of these headlines and allegations and then, nothing really came of it. So, if they’re trying to drag her through the mud, presumably it’s a her—point to the tactics and methods used in our very recent memory. So I would hope that, that would happen and they would go to bat for her, it kind of remains to be seen though.” Younger Black man, base 

“I just want them to actually try to do something about it, whatever that means. I’m not sure what they could do, but I want them to do more than send us some tweets about it because I mean, I can tweet about it at home, too. You actually are there. So I’d want take some measures, do what you can.” Younger Black woman, base 

“He committed to that while he was campaigning. That was one of his campaign promises. So he needs to come all the way on through with that one, despite the opposition.”Older Black woman, base 

“She’s going to be treated totally different because first, she’s female, and secondly, she’s black.” – Older Black woman, base

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