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NEW POLL: Black Voters Driving Biden-Harris’ High Approval Ratings

Black communities expect bold policy results aimed at addressing persistent concerns on white nationalism, climate change,  economic recovery,  Black Futures Lab polling finds

Garza: Filibuster is “a dangerous tool that keeps America from being great for the first time”

NATIONWIDE — Today, a new poll from Black Futures Lab indicates cautious optimism from Black communities about the direction of the country. Approval of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’ job performances is high among Black voters, who are lifting the administration’s approval ratings nationally. However, Black voters’ optimism is balanced with expectations for bold policy solutions on white nationalism, climate change, and economic recovery, and effective messages on the cost and safety of vaccines.

“Black communities are relieved by the course-correction in our democracy, but results will be the ultimate judge of the Biden-Harris administration. Our poll findings clearly show there is a mandate for the Biden-Harris administration to deliver on the progressive vision of the Build Back Bolder mandate,” said Alicia Garza, principal at Black Futures Lab. “The scale of the crisis we face requires urgent action and our communities are telling the White House and Democratic lawmakers that more must be done to chart a progressive path forward.”

“From securing his nomination in South Carolina and powering a historic general win to driving up the country’s majority approval of his job performance, Black voters remain the most critical anchor of President Biden’s coalition,” said Terrance Woodbury, HIT Strategies’ partner. “From this poll, Biden has a clear mandate to act on behalf of his most enthusiastic supporters. He has to address the historical pain and frustration of Black voters or he can’t expect the same level of support from black voters that we see in this poll to continue in upcoming elections.”  

Full polling results can be found here, with key takeaways below.

Black voters’ expectations for policy changes underscored the need to reform how policies are made and passed in the Senate.

“With Republicans effectively in the minority for the next period, they have decided to use every tool at their disposal to block the will of millions of Black voters who showed up in record numbers to deliver a mandate for change,” said Garza. “The filibuster is one such tool known for blocking progress on key issues that are impacting our lives — from healthcare to COVID 19 relief and recovery to jobs, once again the party of Trump has a dangerous tool at their disposal that keeps America from being great for the first time.”

Key Takeaways from Black Futures Lab polling:

  • Black people are satisfied with the job performance of the Biden-Harris administration. 
    • 78% approve of Joe Biden’s performance, 72% approve of Kamala Harris’ job performance.
    • 65% reported they are satisfied with the direction of the country compared to 54% reporting satisfaction with the direction of the country in a January 2021 poll.
  • Economic relief is a top priority for Black people in America.
    • When asked what the three most important legislative or policy priorities for Biden were, respondents answered: a $2000 monthly COVID-19 relief check to Americans (50%), a $15 federal minimum wage (48%) and cancellation of $50,000 in student debt (23%).
    • When asked how important it was for Joe Biden to ask Congress to send $2000 monthly COVID-19 checks, 62% said very important.
  • Black people want to know that vaccines will be both safe and free.
    • When asked what the top three action items for the Biden-Harris administration should be, respondents selected: Give more information on the safety of the vaccine (48%); Make sure the vaccine is free of charge (39%); Coordinate with trusted local health care providers to message to Blacks that the vaccine is safe (36%). 
    • Vaccine hesitant Black people need more information on the vaccine, citing unknown impacts of the vaccine (57%); insufficient information about the vaccine (47%); and anxiety about how quickly the vaccine was developed (38%). 
    • A majority (57%) of Black women aged 25-34 years old remain the highest hesitant demographic.
  • Too little attention is being paid on the impact of racism and white supremacy on Black communities.
    • 55% report feeling unsafe in the country these days.
    • 57% said there is too little attention paid on white supremacy in federal, state, and local police departments.
    • 55% of respondents said there is too little attention paid on the rise in hate crimes toward Black people. 
    • 48% said white supremacist attacks should be declared domestic terrorism. 
  • Too little attention is being paid on the impact of climate change on Black communities.
    • 50% say that too little attention is being paid to the impact of environmental racism on Black communities.
    • 47% say that too little attention is being paid to the impact of natural disasters on Black communities.
    • 46% say that too little attention is being paid to the impact of climate change on Black communities.

Methodology
These findings are from a proprietary survey conducted by HIT Strategies on behalf of Black Futures Lab. HIT conducted this survey online with a general population of 600 Black people, with oversamples of 100 Californians, 100 transgender people, 50 LGBTQ, 50 low-income people, 50 rural dwellers, and 50 Black immigrants. The survey fielded from March 5 – March 12, 2021, and the margin of error is +/- 3.7% with a confidence level of 95%.

About Black Futures Lab
The Black Futures Lab transforms Black communities into constituencies that change the way power operates—locally, statewide, and nationally. The problems facing our communities are complex—the solutions require experimentation, innovation and political power. We deserve elected officials that represent us, policies that improve our lives, and politics that reflect our lives.

About HIT Strategies
HIT Strategies is a public opinion research company that specializes in researching Millennials, People of Color, Women, LGBTQ+, and other underserved communities. We help our clients translate their target audience’s values, attitudes, and behaviors into real-time insights and messaging. For more information, please visit hitstrat.com. Follow us on Twitter at @HITStrat.