The 2018 midterm elections are considered to be one of the most critical elections in a generation. We here at EBONY have spoken to politicians across the country who have encouraged everyone to exercise their right to vote on Nov. 6. We have surveyed over 200 readers about their political views (most are looking forward to voting on Tuesday) and what issues matter most to them.
According to the survey, health care remains one of the biggest issues for the EBONY electorate this election cycle, with 87 percent of respondents having a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act.
“I wasn’t terribly shocked to see health care being one of the factors that drive people to the polls,” said EBONY’s director of research Aiesha Powell, who conducted the survey. “It’s going to be a big factor in who our electorate votes for on Election Day.”
Many of the candidates EBONY spoke to ahead of the midterm elections said proper access to health care was one of the major talking points they heard from prospective voters.
The Democratic Party, which, according to recent outside polls, has a good shot of retaking the U.S. House of Representatives, had an 82 percent favorability rating with respondents, while the GOP was viewed unfavorably by 72 percent of those surveyed.
“I would have to suspect that some of the animosity and heated political debate in the past two years has increased the acrimonious feeling that the Black electorate has toward the Republican party,” said Powell.
With recent reports of voter suppression tactics from Georgia to North Dakota, the issue is on top of people’s minds heading into Election Day, stated Powell, who added that those surveyed feel their rights are being “encroached” upon.
“They think this is a very important election [in which] to send a message,” she said.
In 2014, the Republicans trounced the Democrats, which resulted in the GOP taking control of the Senate and the House. And voter turnout was at a 70-year low, with only 36.4 percent of eligible voters casting ballots. Over 90 percent of those polled for EBONY voted in 2014, and close to 97 percent voted in the 2016 presidential election, indicating high political engagement. In addition, 100 percent of our respondents are registered to vote.
“This group intends to make it to the ballot box tomorrow,” said Powell.
Here are some other tidbits from the survey:
- Sixty percent are “extremely” concerned that the midterm elections won’t be conducted fairly.
- More than half are worried that there will be violence surrounding the elections because of the heightened political climate.
- Both the Black Lives Matter and Me Too movements polled well with respondents, at 86 percent and 80 percent, respectively.
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.