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New Poll: Black Voters Rank NFL Halftime Performances: Rihanna Was “Very Good,” But Dr. Dre’s Ensemble Was Best in 5 Years (BLACKtrack)  

More Black Voter Attitudes on NFL Topic, Tyre Nichols’s Death, Black History Cancellation, and Spy Balloons

In HIT Strategies’ most recent BlackTrack (survey of Black registered voters), Black voters shared their opinions on several cultural and entertainment topics related to the Superbowl last month. Black voters are older on average than the overall Black adult population. About 1 in 5 Black voters are under the age of 30, slightly more than a third (36%) are between 30 and 49, a quarter (26%) are 50-64, and 18% are 65 or older. 

Black voters were tuned into the Superbowl: 65% of Black voters watched the NFL matchup and 71% watched the Superbowl halftime show. On a scale of 0 -10, Black voters gave Rihanna’s half-time performance a rating of 7.6, with 79% of Black voters viewing her performance as “good,” and 61% rated it “very good.” 

Half of Black voters (50%) believe that last year’s half-time show performance, featuring Eminem, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige, was their favorite of the past 5 years. By comparison, 32% rate Rihanna’s as their favorite, and just single digits favored performances from The Weeknd (9%), Shakira and Jennifer Lopez (7%), and Maroon 5 (2%). 

Prior to the game, 65% of Black voters were aware this was the first Superbowl with two Black starting quarterbacks. In addition, 49% of Black voters believe the NFL has not done enough to show respect for its Black players, while 45% believe the NFL has done “just enough,” and 6% believe the NFL has done “too much.” 

Headline Crosstab Breakdown 


  • Black male voters were more likely to tune into the Superbowl matchup itself, with 75% of Black male voters watching the game compared to 58% of Black women voters. 
  • 23% of Gen Z Black voters reported they only watched the half-time show compared to 10% of Black voters 50 and older who reported the same. 

Halftime Performance 

  • Rihanna’s half-time performance received similar ratings across age and gender. 
  • Younger Black voters were slightly likelier to say Rihanna’s half-time show was their favorite (34%) than older Black voters (28%). 

NFL-Black Athletes 

  • Black male voters (71%) and Black voters 50 and over (68%) were most aware that this was the first time the Superbowl featured two Black starting quarterbacks. 
  • 64% of Black voters 50 and over believe the NFL is not doing enough for its Black athletes compared to just 38% of Black voters under 50. 

Politics and Current Events 

  • 82% believe the force against Tyre Nichols by Memphis Police was unjustified; 90% believe the police who used such force should be found guilty. 
  • 59% of Black voters believe that resources should be diverted from police departments to fund community services, 9% disagree. 
  • 65% of Black voters disagree with Ron DeSantis’s decision to block teaching AP African American history in Florida public schools while just 14% agree. 
  • 70% of Black voters also believe K-12 public schools teach “too little” on Black history and only 6% believe schools teach “too much.” 
  • 68% of Black voters approve of the President’s handling of the high-altitude objects entering American airspace, only 6% disapprove. 
  • 82% of Black voters approve of Joe Biden’s job as president, an 8-point increase from just last month. 

This BlackTrack survey was fielded via an online opt-in panel from February 16-19, 2023, with a margin of error of +/-3.1%. The information above represents selected data from the BlackTrack survey.  

About BlackTrack 
BlackTrack is HIT Strategies’ recurring monthly national survey of 1,000 Black voters ages 18+ on current social and political issues. BlackTrack tracks Black Americans’ attitudes and disaggregates the data into demographic groups to understand Black voters’ full diversity of opinions. The majority of BlackTrack data is proprietary and available for subscribers. For more information on previous data or to subscribe, go to

About HIT Strategies  
As Washington’s leading millennial and minority-owned public opinion research company, HIT Strategies helps leaders and organizations translate target audiences’ values into real-time insights. We understand America’s fastest-growing electorate and consumer groups and specialize in targeting communities under-represented in public opinion data, including Black Americans, Latino Americans, Millennials + Genz, LGBTQ+, Women, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders. For more information, visit and follow @HITStrat on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.   


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