How Will Women of Color Vote In November? Insights from a New Poll

How Will Women of Color Vote In November? Insights from a New Poll

By Pearl Phillip

As the United States gears up for another crucial election cycle, the spotlight is once again on the diverse tapestry of its electorate. Among the most influential demographics are women of color, whose collective voice significantly shapes the country’s political landscape. A recent poll conducted by Intersections of Our Lives sheds light on this pivotal group’s voting intentions and concerns, revealing both expected trends and surprising insights.

The poll, released on May 9th, underscores the formidable influence of AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander), Black, and Latina/x women voters. Despite their substantial electoral power, the findings suggest a prevailing sentiment among these communities that policymakers must adequately address their most pressing issues.

Findings of the Poll

For 65% of Black women, 64% of Latina/x women, and 62% of AAPI women, voting is crucial in effecting the change they aspire to see in the nation. Nearly nine out of ten women of color emphasize the significance of voting, considering it extremely or very important.

Among the paramount concerns for women of color are escalating costs and worries about the economy. These apprehensions encompass a myriad of other crucial issues, such as ensuring affordable access to healthcare (including abortion and birth control), equitable housing, managing the cost of living, and bridging the pay gap.

Full bodily autonomy and access to abortion care garner strong support from women of color. For 31% of Black women, 34% of Latina/x women, and 36% of AAPI women, women’s rights and abortion are top priorities. When combined, these issues rank equally with rising costs and prices as pivotal voting concerns for women of color.

A significant majority, including 79% of Black women, 76% of AAPI women, and 75% of Latina/x women, agree that simply legalizing abortion is insufficient. It is imperative to ensure that individuals can access abortion care regardless of their location or financial circumstances.

Furthermore, an overwhelming majority, including 93% of Black women, 84% of AAPI women, and 79% of Latina/x women, concur that racism has persisted for far too long, advocating for a leader who will champion long-overdue policies promoting racial equity.

Fact Sheets

Front-Burner Issues for Women of Color

Leading the discussion hosted by Ethnic Media Services on the implications of this poll was a panel of esteemed experts from prominent women of color-led reproductive justice organizations. Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum; Regina Davis Moss, President and CEO of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda; Lupe M. Rodriguez, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice; Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research Partners; and Roshni Nedungadi, Chief Research Officer & Founding Partner of HIT Strategies, offer invaluable insights into the significance of these findings and their implications for the upcoming elections.

One of the poll’s most striking revelations is the perception among women of color voters that their concerns are not receiving the attention they deserve from policymakers. This sentiment underscores a broader disconnect between these communities and the political establishment, highlighting the need for candidates to engage meaningfully with the issues that resonate most profoundly with women of color.

For AAPI women, key priorities include addressing systemic barriers to healthcare access, combating anti-Asian discrimination, and promoting economic equity. “Our polling underscores that AAPI women voters, and our fellow women of color voters, are too powerful a force to be ignored during this year’s election season. We are motivated and we are passionate about the issues that most impact our lives. If our communities do not see the change we expect and deserve, we are prepared to fight for that change at the ballot box,” said NAPAWF Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow

Regina Davis Moss emphasizes the urgency of tackling racial injustice, safeguarding reproductive rights, and addressing the intersectional challenges Black women face. “Make no mistake, Reproductive Justice is a key issue for women of color voters. We do not live single-issue lives and it will determine who we support this election season. Our vote is key to securing equity and justice for our families and generations to come. Issues that encompass bodily autonomy like access to affordable birth control, abortion services, and economic opportunity are top priorities for Black women and other women of color,” said In Our Own Voice President and CEO Regina Davis Moss.

Similarly, Lupe M. Rodriguez underscores the importance of reproductive justice, immigration reform, and economic empowerment for Latina/x women voters. “This poll makes it clear that women of color voters expect their elected officials to speak to Reproductive Justice issues that matter to them, like providing access to affordable healthcare (including abortion care and birth control) and lowering the costs of living and housing. By joining forces, we can focus the power of this influential voting bloc to affect change,” said Latina Institute Executive Director Lupe M. Rodríguez. Latina voters aren’t necessarily motivated by partisan politics. “They are moved by candidates and folks in power who speak to the issues that matter to them, who seek to address everyday issues that they are facing on things like immigration and family separation,” added Rodríguez.

Veteran pollster Celinda Lake underscores the importance of recognizing the diversity within the women of color electorate, urging candidates to adopt nuanced approaches that resonate with the specific concerns of each community. She emphasizes the need for inclusive policies prioritizing healthcare, economic opportunity, and racial justice. “Women of color represent an enormous potential vote. But we are at a crossroads. They are not going to vote for people unless they see change, see their values represented, and they see people talking about policies that affect their daily lives,” said Lake.

Roshni Nedungadi, the chief research officer and founding partner of HIT Strategies, played a key role in conducting the poll. According to her, women of color prioritize crucial issues such as the escalating healthcare expenses, equitable housing, bridging the pay disparity, and ensuring access to abortion care. “We also found, very clearly, that AAPI, Black, and Latina women strongly support abortion care, and they really do care about communities being able to find and afford abortion care,” Nedungadi stated.

She also highlighted the significance of strategic outreach and engagement efforts in mobilizing women of color voters. From targeted messaging to grassroots organizing, Nedungadi emphasizes the importance of meeting voters where they are and addressing their concerns directly.

In light of these insights, candidates vying for political office must recognize the immense influence wielded by women of color voters and tailor their platforms accordingly. By prioritizing healthcare access, racial justice, reproductive rights, and economic equity, candidates can effectively engage this critical demographic and harness its collective power to drive meaningful change.

As the November elections loom on the horizon, the voices and concerns of women of color will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s future trajectory. By heeding the findings of this groundbreaking poll and actively addressing these communities’ priorities, candidates can forge stronger connections, build trust, and enact policies that reflect the diverse needs of all Americans.

In conclusion, this poll’s findings serve as a clarion call for policymakers and candidates alike to prioritize the needs and aspirations of women of color voters. As the nation stands at a crossroads, the collective power of these communities holds the key to shaping a more just, equitable, and inclusive future for all Americans.

Pearl Phillip is the Editor-in Chief of IQ Inc’s multicultural publications: The Immigrant’s Journal, Caribbean American Weekly, Workers’ World Today and Editorial Advisor for New Black Voices. She is also the host of People, Power & Politics Radio show and Podcast.

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