• Polling

Survey of 2022 Midterm Voters: Black Voters in the Midterm Elections

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

What We Did: 2022 Midterm Voters Survey

The slides in this presentation are based on interviews with 5,013 registered voters who had already voted or planned to vote in the November election, with interviews conducted November 1st through November 14th . Support for Democratic candidates and Republican candidates in elections for Governor, Senate, and the House of Representatives have been adjusted to reflect the actual expected results as of November 14th . The analysis aims to provide a new tool for Americans to understand what happened in the 2022 election, why it happened…and what’s next.

Key takeaways

  • Abortion, inflation, and Social Security and Medicare were top voting priorities for Black voters.
  • Black voters overwhelmingly approved of the job Biden has done broadly and on specific issues; they viewed a wide range of issue areas as greater reasons to support Democrats than Republicans, including health care, January 6th, gun reform, and Social Security and Medicare.
  • Black voters were somewhat more optimistic on the economy than 2022 voters overall, including a plurality of Black voters believing that more jobs were created than lost in the last year.
  • Black voters were more likely than the country overall to support teaching the complete truth about slavery and the Civil Rights Movement, as well as passing common sense gun reforms.

Black Voters Overwhelmingly Favored Democratic Candidates; However, Support Was Weaker Among Black Voters Under 45

More than four in five Black voters (86%) supported Democratic House and Senate candidates; net support was slightly lower among younger Black voters (net +64 Democrats in the House) compared to Black voters ages 45-64 (net +85) and 65+ (net +78).

Black Voters’ Priorities: Abortion, Inflation, SS/Medicare

Black women were slightly more likely than Black men to cite abortion (38% vs. 33%, respectively) and inflation (35% vs. 29%), while more Black men cited police reform (12%). More than half of Black voters 65+ prioritized Social Security and Medicare (56%).

  • Younger Black voters under age 45 prioritized wages and the cost of living (29%) after abortion (38%) and inflation (31%).

Black Voters Resoundingly Approved of Biden’s Job Performance, Overall and Across Key Issue Areas

The issues where Black voters were much more likely to approve of Biden’s performance than the country overall were the economy (net -26 overall/net +42 among Black voters) and health care (net -3 overall/net +61 among Black voters).

Black Voters Cited Health Care and January 6th Among Top Reasons to Choose Democrats Over Republicans

Three in four Black voters saw health care costs (78%), January 6th (76%), gun violence (76%), the future of Social Security and Medicare (76%), and threats to American democracy (75%) as reasons to support Democrats over Republicans.

Black Voters Staunchly Supported Abortion Rights, Particularly Black Women and College Graduates

Nearly three in four Black voters opposed a nationwide abortion ban (73%), including 75% of Black women and 87% of college-educated Black voters.

Black Voters Were Slightly Less Pessimistic About Economy Than Overall Electorate, Though Still More Negative Than Not

Black men were significantly more optimistic about the trajectory of the economy (45% positive) than Black women (30% positive).

Pluralities of Black Voters Said More Jobs Were Created Than Lost in the Last Year

Black men (61%) and Black college-educated voters (59%) were most likely to say more jobs were created than lost over the past year.

Black Voters Experienced Overwhelmingly More Outreach From Democratic Candidates Than Republican Candidates

Three in five Black voters (61%) said they were contacted by Democratic candidates compared to just 36% from Republican candidates.

  • Older Black voters were most likely to say they had been contacted by Democratic candidates (72% of 65+ Black voters); only 54% of Black voters under 45 were contacted by the Democratic Party.


Black Voters More Likely to Consider Politics Important to Their Personal Identity Than Voters Overall

Black voters who attend church multiple times per month (90% important), Black men (89%), and Black voters under 45 (89%) were the most likely to say politics is “very” or “somewhat” important to their personal identity.

Black Voters Overwhelmingly Agreed Schools Should Teach Complete Truth About Slavery and Civil Rights Movement

Over eight in ten Black voters overall (84%) agreed that schools should teach the honest and complete truth about events in American history like slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.

Black Voters More Likely Than Voters Overall to Support Gun Reform; Black College Voters Especially So

Among Black voters, support for common sense gun laws was highest among those over the age of 65 (88%).

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted an online survey of 5,013 registered voters from November 1-November 14, 2022, with respondents recruited from opt-in online panel vendors. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of the sample reflected that of the expected 2022 electorate in the House, Senate, and Governor’s races. The vote shares for Democrats and Republicans among self-reported 2022 voters were also adjusted to reflect a preliminary estimate of the actual results of the 2022 elections.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org