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Several ways to winning Black women vote in 2016

On October 6, 2015

As the 2016 Presidential campaign season heats up, an exclusive Black Women’s Roundtable and Essence poll shows that affordable health care, livable wage jobs and college affordability rank as the most important issues among African-American women.

“The top issues for Black women revolve around money and basic needs,” said Melanie Campbell, Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable and president/CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP).

“The indication that affordable health care is a major concern aligns with our 2015 State of Black Women Report findings that among states with African-American populations exceeding 20 percent, few offer adequate health insurance coverage for Black women. We suspect this is due to the fact that some governors, especially in the South where 55 percent of the Black population lives, have fought against Medicaid expansion and other quality health care opportunities provided by the Affordable Care Act for partisan reasons. ”

The Power of the Sister Vote Poll was launched by ESSENCE and the Black Women’s Roundtable in August 2015 to assess Black women’s priority issues for the 2016 election and understand their motivation for voting. The results were revealed at a news conference during the 45th Annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Legislative Conference.

“Black women are taking an active interest in the upcoming 2016 election and they plan to vote for a candidate who will address issues that can improve their quality of life,” said Vanessa De Luca, Editor-in-Chief of ESSENCE. “We anticipate the Black women will continue to have strong voter turnout numbers and perhaps lead the nation as they have done in the last two presidential elections.”

The Power of the Sister Vote Poll surveyed 1,862 women nationally who identified themselves as registered to vote and see voting as a responsibility. Eighty-eight percent of respondents would vote for President Obama in 2016 if they could. Most respondents identified the Democrats (78 percent) as representing their interests, 18 percent identified no party; 1 percent feel Republicans and 1 percent feel Libertarians represent their interests. African-American millennials appear to be trending away from identifying with political parties – over a quarter (26 percent) responded they do not identify with any political party.

Black women are interested in Presidential candidates who commit to: 1) improving law enforcement/community relations, 2) reducing taxes for low and middle income people, 3) increasing the minimum wage to at least $15/hour.

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