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New Everytown/Higher Heights Survey of Black Voters Finds Gun Safety, Police Accountability and Criminal Justice Reform are Top Issues in 2020


Poll Conducted by Global Strategy Group Found Black Voters Support Stronger Gun Laws by an 11:1 Margin; Strongly Support Background Checks on All Gun Sales, Red Flag Laws, and Disarming Domestic Abusers

86% of Respondents Said a Candidate’s Stance on Guns Was More Important Than Their Stance on Trump

NEW YORK — Today, Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, Higher Heights for America (Higher Heights), and Global Strategy Group released the results of a new survey of Black voters. The survey found that Black voters are prioritizing gun violence prevention now even more than they did before the pandemic, and demonstrates the intersectionality of issues that affect the Black community’s health, pocketbooks, and safety.

The top three most disqualifying positions that a candidate could take all revolved around the safety of Black Americans — namely, opposition to holding police accountable for disproportionate use of force, opposition to criminal justice reform, and opposition to background checks on all gun sales.

Global Strategy Group conducted the survey of more than 1,000 Black voters nationwide, from May 7 to May 18. Its release comes after several weeks of historic protests led by civil rights and racial justice organizations, organizers, and advocates across the nation, in response to the killings by police of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks, and many others.

“Black Americans are bearing the brunt of both gun violence and police violence, which are often one and the same, so it’s no surprise that both of these issues are front of mind,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Over the coming months, Everytown will go all-out to elect candidates who understand that passing long-overdue gun safety laws is an essential step toward protecting Black lives.”

“Over-policing and gun violence in our communities particularly hits home for Black women voters, because we are directly impacted and hurt by the disproportionately of these issues. The attack on Blackness has received renewed attention in 2020 due to the egregious incidents we are seeing play out time and time again,” said Higher Heights President and CEO, Glynda C. Carr. “We know from speaking with Black woman voters that these issues are their number one concern, and it is among the problems they would like to see candidates prioritize if elected during their first 100 days in office the new president and candidates focus on during their first 100 days in office. This poll reinforces the importance of Black women’s voices on these issues and that our voices need to be considered by candidates up and down the ballot as we head toward Election Day.”

Global Strategy Group surveyed 1,002 Black voters nationwide with a confidence interval of +/- 3.1%. Findings from the survey, detailed in a memo, include:

In the wake of the continued shooting of unarmed Black civilians by police, 79% would never vote for a candidate who didn’t agree with holding police accountable for disproportionate use of force, 75% would never vote for a candidate who didn’t prioritize making our criminal justice system fairer, and nearly three in four voters (71%) would never vote for a candidate who opposes requiring background checks on all gun sales – among Black women, this rises to 75%.
Black voters strongly support gun violence prevention policies like requiring background checks on all gun sales (96% support; 84% strongly support), disarming domestic abusers (93% support; 77% strongly support), and enacting red flag laws (93% support; 68% strongly support).
A majority of Black voters (55%) say a candidate’s position on guns has become more important to their vote than it was three months ago, before the coronavirus pandemic.
Black women are more likely than men to disqualify candidates who they disagree with on pocketbook issues: job creation (68% of women/63% of men), investments in education (69% of women/61% of men), and reducing health care costs (69% of women /65% of men).
86% of Black voters, 84% of those less likely to turn out on Election Day, and 88% of Black women consider a candidate’s position on guns as more important than a candidate’s stance toward Trump.