Polling Insight: 4 Takeaways About Black Women Voters in the 2024 Election

For decades, Black women have consistently been a reliable voting base for the Democratic Party, and in recent elections Democrats have garnered support from large majorities of Black women.1 However, the KFF Survey of Women Voters shows that many Black women do not feel either political party is looking out for their interests, and express dissatisfaction with their candidate options. Black women experienced disproportionate economic setbacks during the pandemic, with their unemployment rate outpacing that of men and women of other racial and ethnic groups. While pandemic-related unemployment has receded, rising inflation rates have created a scenario in which many families across the country struggle to afford basic household expenses, and Black women are more likely than White or Hispanic women to cite these struggles. This poll shows that, while Black women still largely support President Biden in 2024, some of his previous supporters say they don’t plan to vote for him this fall. Among Black women voters, one quarter of those who voted for Joe Biden in 2020 now say they either plan to vote for Trump in 2024 (8%) or say they will not vote (14%). This analysis highlights the deciding factors and motivations for Black women fewer than six months before the 2024 election.

The analysis presented below is from a multi-mode probability based survey of women voters from state-level voter files, fielded May 23-June 5, 2024. The KFF Survey of Women Voters Dashboard includes more data from the survey, as well as the topline and full methodological details.

#1: Black Women Continue to Identify with the Democratic Party, Though Some Say Neither Party Does a Better Job Looking Out for People Like Them

Black women voters largely identify as Democrats (67%) or lean toward the Democratic Party (10%) and a majority say that the Democratic Party does a better job than the Republican Party looking out for people like them (56%), but about one in three Black women (35%) say neither party looks out for people like them. Fewer Black women voters identify as Republicans (7%) or say that the Republican Party does a better job looking out for their interests (8%).

#2: Inflation Is the Most Important Issue for Black Women Voters, and Most Disapprove of Biden’s Handling of It

About half of Black women voters say that inflation, including the rising cost of household expenses (53%) is the most important issue determining their vote in the 2024 presidential race. Ranking far behind this issue are threats to democracy (18%), abortion (12%) and gun policy (6%). Families across the U.S. have been hit hard by the rising cost of household expenses, and Black women voters especially report worrying about affording basic household items for themselves and their families, with about half or more saying they worry “a lot” about affording food (59%), utilities (53%), health care (51%), and housing costs (48%).

Reflecting on the past two presidencies, about one in four Black women voters say they have been better off financially while President Biden is in office (27%) and a similar share say they were better off under President Trump (22%). Half (50%) of Black women voters say which president is in office has made no difference in their financial situation.

Half of Black women say, regardless of who they intend to vote for, the Democratic Party does a better job addressing the cost of household expenses (51%), while few (8%) say the Republican Party does a better job, and four in ten (41%) say neither party does a better job. However, assessing Biden’s handling of the issue of inflation, a majority (55%) of Democratic Black women voters disapprove, including one in four (25%) who say they disapprove “strongly.” By contrast, majorities of Democratic Black women voters approve of Biden’s handling of most other issues, including immigration, abortion and reproductive health care, student loan repayment, and the affordability of health care.

#3: Black Women Voters Say Candidates’ Personal Qualities Are More Important than Issues to their 2024 Vote

When deciding who to vote for this fall, Black women voters put a lot of emphasis on the candidates’ personal characteristics and experience. Two-thirds (64%) of Black women voters nationally say a candidates’ personal characteristics, including their leadership ability, character, values, and experience will make the biggest difference to their vote, more than twice the share who say the candidates’ stance on the issues matters most (29%). Reflecting on one of these personal characteristics, a majority of Black women voters say that President Biden respects women generally (57%) and the women he interacts with “a lot” (61%). Very few (4% and 2% respectively) say the same of former President Trump, while majorities say Trump respects women “not at all.”

Partisanship may play a larger role in some state specific contexts. Along with the national poll of women voters, the KFF Survey of Women Voters included a representative sample of women voters in Michigan, a key battleground state. While just 6% of Black women nationally say that the candidates’ political party will make the biggest difference to their 2024 vote, this rises to one in five Black women voters in Michigan. On par with Black women nationally, Black women voters in Michigan give the Democratic Party the edge on their assessment of which political party does a better job looking out for people like them, the interests of women, addressing the cost of health care and the cost of household expenses.

#4: Young Black Women Are Less Likely to Say They Will Vote in This Election Than Older Black Women; Many Say Their Dissatisfaction Is Due to Unfulfilled Promises

Similar majorities of Black women across age say they are dissatisfied with their options for president, but views of the candidates may be impacting younger Black women’s decision to turn out more than older Black women. About three in four Black women ages 50 and older (77%) say they are “absolutely certain” to vote. Fewer Black women under age 50 say they are certain to vote (49%), while one-third say there is a 50-50 chance (32%). Seven percent of Black women ages 18 to 49 say they probably or certainly will not vote in November.

This age difference among Black women reflects a broader pattern among women voters who identify as Democrats. Overall, younger Democratic women voters are more likely than their older counterparts to say they disapprove of the president’s handling of issues and are less likely to say they plan to vote.

When asked why they are not satisfied with President Biden as the Democratic nominee for president, many Democratic Black women voters cite answers related to Biden’s age and ability to act as president, and cite unfulfilled campaign promises of the Biden administration.

What is the main reason why you aren’t satisfied with Joe Biden as the Democratic nominee for president?

“President Biden is not in sync with the overwhelming majority of the country on issues that directly affect economic security, housing, over policing, women’s right to health autonomy and international relations that directly influence the safety of non-white identifying Americans.” – 47-year-old Black woman voter, Democratic-leaning independent, California

“Promises he made fell to wayside, feels like too little too late from him.” – 38-year-old Black woman, Democrat, Georgia

“Concerned about longevity. I feel like a younger Democratic candidate could fight for more and harder for our community.” – 28-year-old Black woman, Democrat, New York

“I realize that at his age, he is not the aggressive VP he once was. I don’t think he is as sharp as he will need to be.” – 66-year-old Black woman, Democrat, Illinois

With pollsters forecasting a close presidential election, even slight advantages could tip the electoral balance in favor of either candidate. Black women voters have long been a strong base to the Democratic Party, and this poll finds their continued support for the party. However, if Black women do not feel adequately represented by the current leadership of the Democratic Party, including on issues most salient to them, they may not vote for Joe Biden in the fall. Young Black women are especially frustrated and dissatisfied with the current administration, which may tip the scales in favor of a Trump presidency.

  1. 94% of Black women voters voted for Hilary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election; 96% of Black women voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012; 90% of Black women voted for Joe Biden in 2020.

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