Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Media Misled on Issues Important to Midterm Voters

November 23, 2022

“The political press blew it.” So wrote Dana Milbank of the Washington Post (11/9/22), calling the fourth estate the “biggest loser of the midterm elections.” As he points out, most of the headlines leading into Election Day forecast a “Democratic wipeout.” And, it hardly bears mentioning, such a Democratic rout didn’t occur.

Looking at where the prognosticators went wrong, a common theme is an emphasis on the wrong campaign issues. A pre-election article in Politico (10/19/22), which purported to explain the “GOP’s midterm momentum,” encapsulated many pundits’ predictions about the House contest: 

Twenty days out from Election Day, voters are overwhelmingly focused on the economy and inflation, Republicans are more trusted to handle those issues, and crime beats out abortion as a second-tier issue.

This view was also reflected in Fox’s final “Power Rankings” (11/1/22) that predicted “Republicans to take control of the House with a 19-seat majority, or 236 total seats.” Actually, if Republicans had won 236 seats, that would leave the Democrats with 199—giving the GOP a majority of 37 seats, not 19.  But why so bullish in the first place? “Republicans are winning on the economy and crime, and that translates into a decisive House majority.”

And Blake Hounshell argued in the New York Times (10/19/22) that the election was breaking in favor of Republicans for three reasons: the importance of inflation and crime, the relative unimportance of abortion, and the historical pattern of midterm elections that tend to be a referendum on the party of the president.

All these claims, of course, turned out to be wrong.

Mismeasuring issues

Fox: Fox News Power Rankings: Republicans expected to control House, but both parties hold on to pathways in Senate

Fox (11/1/22) greatly overestimated the size of the GOP House majority because it underestimated the importance of Democratic-leaning issues.

Measuring the importance of issues to voters is fraught with ambiguity. There is no single method for identifying such issues, and thus polls find different and often conflicting results.

Prior to the election, for example, a poll by Fox (11/1/22) reported that 89% of voters were “extremely” or “very concerned” about inflation, 79% about crime, 74% political divisions, 73% Russia/Ukraine, 72% what is taught in schools, and 71% abortion.

That form of the question allows respondents to give their opinions on all the issues picked by the pollsters. Fox interpreted the results to mean that only the top two “concerning” issues—inflation (89%) and crime (79%)—would have any significant impact on the outcome. What to make of the fact that three other issues were “concerning” to more than seven in ten voters? That’s hardly a trivial number. Yet the other issues were completely dismissed.

Another way to ask the question is to require respondents to identify just one issue that is most important to them. But even then, different polls find different results.

A prime example can be found by comparing the two 2022 Election Day polls: the network exit poll and AP/Fox Votecast.

The former asked respondents to indicate which one issue was most important to their vote.

As the table shows, 31% of voters chose inflation, and among that group, 28% voted for a Democratic member of Congress, 71% for a Republican—for a net GOP advantage of 43 percentage points. Another 27% chose abortion, which favored Democrats by a 53-point margin.

The Votecast poll of 2022 voters also asked respondents to specify just one issue, though the question was phrased somewhat differently, asking for the most important issue facing the country. The question also included four additional items.

Note that the five issues listed by the network exit poll are virtually the same as the first five issues of Votecast. The only difference is how each characterized the economy—“inflation” and “economy and jobs” respectively.

Yet that difference in wording, as well as the number of issues, produced startlingly different results. Almost half (48%) of Votecast respondents chose “economy and job,” while only 31% of exit poll respondents chose inflation. Also, Votecast shows just 10% choosing abortion as the most important issue, while the network exit poll reported 27% listing abortion most important.

In short, according to Votecast, the economy and jobs issue overwhelmed abortion, while the exit poll suggested inflation was only marginally more important to voters than abortion.

Other significant differences can be found as well. Both polls show about 9% to 10% of voters listing immigration as most important. But Votecast says the issue favors Republicans by a 78-point margin, while the network exit poll says only a 48-point margin. Such differences among polls are typical.

Also, it’s worth noting that climate change tied for third place in Votecast, but was overlooked in the exit polls. This difference illustrates how subjective and arbitrary are the choices that pollsters make in determining which issues to examine.

Partisan differences on issues

In the previous analyses, little effort was made to differentiate the top issues of Democrats, Republicans and independents. But any attempt to understand the electorate requires such a differentiation.

CNN: The central tension driving the 2022 election

Richard Brownstein (CNN, 10/11/22) argued the 2022 midterms boiled down to the issues of “your money or your rights?”

In his analysis of “the central tension driving the ’22 election,” Ronald Brownstein (CNN, 10/11/22) emphasized that Democrats and Republicans were focused on quite different issues. He cited Whit Ayres, a veteran GOP pollster: “The blue team cares about abortion and democracy, and the red team cares about crime and immigration and inflation.”

Brownstein went on to write: 

The national NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll released last week offered the latest snapshot of this divergence. Asked what issue they considered most important in 2022, Republicans overwhelmingly chose inflation (52%) and immigration (18%).

A comparable share of Democrats picked preserving democracy (32%), abortion (21%) and healthcare (15%).

Independents split exactly in half between the priorities of the two parties: inflation and immigration on the one side, and democracy, abortion and healthcare on the other.

The important and obvious, but often overlooked, point is that different voters are motivated by different issues. To note, for example, that abortion is a motivating issue for only 12% of the overall electorate overlooks the possibility that it may be a crucial motivating issue for Democrats (21% chose this issue) to turn out, and perhaps for independents to choose one party or the other.

Fundamentally flawed concept

Apart from the inconsistency in poll results, the notion that national polls can identify the issues that will determine which party will win control of the House is fundamentally flawed.

The assumption behind the previous analyses is that most voters choose candidates based on the issues. But that is backward for the vast majority of voters. People who identify with a party will overwhelmingly vote for that party, regardless of the issues.

Both Votecast and the network exit poll, for example, report that only 5% to 6% of party identifiers voted for a candidate not of their own party.

Pollsters may ask respondents to identify the important issues for them in this election, but the question is irrelevant for most Republicans and Democrats. They will choose among issues suggested by the poll interviewers. But the issues they choose will almost always be the issues that conform to what their party leaders are already stressing.

To put it graphically, for most voters PARTY —> ISSUES, not the reverse.

Of course, at some point in most voters’ lives, they will probably choose a party that best reflects their political values—or that their parents, or spouse, or other loved one prefers, or that appeals to them for some other miscellaneous reason.

But, in any given election, most voters have already decided which party they prefer, and will simply vote for their party.

That’s one reason why national polls on issues don’t explain why an election was won or lost. The identification of issues is irrelevant—except for a narrow slice of the electorate, which includes small percentages of swing voters, and of occasional voters who are indeed motivated by issues. And it’s this group that will provide the deciding votes.

These are the “persuadables”—voters who might be expected to vote for their own party and don’t; or independents who are persuaded to choose a Democrat or Republican this time, though they might change in the next election; or infrequent voters who decide to turn out in this election because of a particular issue or set of issues.

Motivating a tiny slice

Washington Post chart comparing turnout in midterm and presidential elections

As the Washington Post (12/31/18) pointed out, turnout in the 2018 midterms was the highest in 50 years—following 2014, which was the lowest in 70 years. (2022 turnout is expected to be about 46%—closer to 2018 than to 2014.)

How narrow is this slice? The short answer: About 10% to 15% of voters could be considered “persuadable.”

Votecast reported that in the 2022 election, the number of independents (who don’t lean to either party) was 8%. Add to this party identifiers who switched their allegiance (representing about 4% of the whole electorate). And add to that an unknown (but probably small) number of occasional voters who turned out this time but not some other time, and the total could be as high as 15%.

The number could be even higher in a wave election. Turnout in the 2018 midterms, for example, was the highest in 50 years. This suggests an unusually high number of occasional voters (and “new” voters who had reached voting age in the previous four years) were persuaded to turn out, because of “issues” or some other factor. But it’s impossible for pollsters to predict how large the turnout in any given election will actually be.

Another complication, specifically for the congressional contests, is that only persuadable voters in competitive districts can make a difference. 538 estimates that 124 congressional seats were competitive this year, or 28.5% of the total—45 that leaned Democratic, 39 Republican, and 40 “highly competitive” seats that leaned in neither direction. What these numbers mean is that only about 4% to 5% of the national electorate (15% of 28.5%) are in a position to determine the outcome of the House contest. Even if it were a wave election with, say, 25% of the voters in the persuadable category, that still means that only 7% to 8% of the electorate would be casting the decisive votes.

Pollsters simply can’t tease out such a small proportion of the respondents in their sample to see what motivates them to vote.

Traditionally, pollsters present their data as I summarized their findings earlier in this article: How many voters overall prefer each issue, and how do respondents who prefer a given issue actually vote?

Clearly, that didn’t work in this election. And there is no reason to be confident it will work in any other given election.

Post-election issue importance

The post-election period is more amenable to analysis of issues. By then we know the actual vote totals, and can compare which districts over- and under-performed with respect to party distribution, and how they compared with other districts and with the national vote. From those comparisons, it is possible to infer which issues might have been decisive.

One example is abortion. Just four days before the election, an article in the New York Times (11/4/22) carried the headline: “At Campaign’s End, Democrats See Limits of Focus on Abortion.” Too few people overall cited abortion as a crucial issue.

Bulwark: The Data Have Spoken: Abortion Was a Decisive Issue in the 2022 Midterms

William Saletan (Bulwark11/11/22): “Dobbs didn’t just influence which candidates people voted for. It also influenced whether they showed up at the polls at all—and this provided a crucial boost to pro-choice candidates.”

After the election, William Saletan of the Bulwark (11/11/22) reviewed both the network exit poll and Votecast, and concluded that in fact, “Abortion was a decisive issue in the 2022 midterms.” In enough districts, it affected a small but significant number of voters in both their decision to vote and who to vote for.

Another example: Looking at the pattern of voting across all congressional districts and in the crucial Senate elections, Nate Cohn of the New York Times (11/16/22) concluded that, on average, Trump-endorsed candidates under-performed non-MAGA candidates by an average of about 5 percentage points. Although not mentioned as a typical “issue,” it would appear that the former president was nevertheless a significant influence on the election.

No doubt, similar analyses can address the relative importance of other issues. Analyzing what happened, based on actual data, is much more insightful than predicting what might happen.

The real problem with the 2022 news coverage, however, is not that it was off target, but rather, as Julie Hollar noted previously on this site (11/10/22), “prognostication-as-reporting is utterly dysfunctional.” Judd Legum (Popular Information11/10/22) likewise argues that the political media is “broken”: 

Even if media predictions were correct, they represent a style of political reporting that is dysfunctional. Campaign coverage is increasingly focused on anticipating who will win through polling analysis. But politics is unpredictable, and polls are not nearly precise enough to predict the outcome of a close contest.

That’s a lesson we relearn each election.


Reprinted with permission from FAIR.org.    

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Stop the execution of Kevin Johnson


Josh Mayfield, November 21, 2022

On Aug. 25, the Missouri Supreme Court set Kevin “KJ” Johnson’s execution date for Nov. 29. Johnson was convicted and sentenced to death when he was 19 years old for the shooting and killing of a police officer. There is more to the story, however, both in regards to Johnson and the racist nature of the death penalty in the United States. 

A troubled upbringing

Kevin Johnson grew up in an environment of severe poverty, abuse and neglect. His father was incarcerated when he was a little over a year old, and his mother developed a severe crack addiction, which would continue throughout his whole childhood. He and his older brother Marcus were eventually removed from their mother’s care and sent to live with extended family. They were made to sleep in a converted garage at the ages of 3 and 4 years old respectively, often having to scavenge for food, and even going so far as eating roaches that found their way into the garage. While staying with his aunt, he suffered severe neglect, frequently wearing soiled clothes and only receiving full, decent meals at school.

Johnson also spent many years in various foster homes and group facilities, in which he experienced physical and sexual abuse. He eventually aged out of the child welfare system, one of many children that fall through the cracks of the very scarce resources provided to mentally unwell and troubled youth in this country. A 2016 psychological examination of Johnson concluded that he was “born into a violent, abusive and neglectful environment, with a genetic predisposition to mental illness,” facts which indicate that the Missouri execution would violate international law which prohibits executing individuals with psychosocial disabilities and “limited moral culpability.”

As reported by the Associated Press, on July 5, 2005, police arrived at Johnson’s home in Kirkwood, Missouri, to serve a warrant for his arrest, for allegedly violating probation. As Johnson saw police arrive, he woke his 12-year-old brother “Bam Bam,” who ran over to their grandmother’s house. Bam Bam, who suffered from a congenital heart condition, collapsed upon arriving at the house and began to have a seizure. Johnson testified in court that the police kept his mother from entering the house to aid Bam Bam, as well generally acting apathetically. Although EMS did arrive, it took 18 minutes to get Bam Bam to the hospital, where he tragically passed away shortly after arriving.

This severely traumatizing event, coupled with a life of poverty and abuse, pushed Johnson over the edge. When one of the officers who was at the scene of his brother’s death came back to the neighborhood later to investigate an unrelated incident, Johnson pulled out a gun, shouted, “You killed my brother,” and shot Officer William McEntee, killing him.

Race a ‘decisive factor

Johnson received two trials. Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty note that the first trial had a mixed jury of white and Black jurors, which ended up being a hung jury with 10 jurors in favor of second-degree murder and two in favor of first-degree murder. This decision was heavily influenced by Johnson’s attorneys introducing into evidence his life of abuse and neglect and the tragic circumstances of his brother’s death.

A second trial would be required, one in which prosecutor Robert McCulloch sought to guarantee a death sentence. McCulloch himself has a long history of racist prosecutions, with the most high profile being his refusal to prosecute the cop who killed Mike Brown in the case that would set off the Black Lives Matter movement. McCulloch ensured an all-white jury would determine the outcome of Johnson’s second trial, and the attorneys failed to introduce the mitigating evidence that had played a crucial role in the first trial. Johnson was sentenced to death in 2007. 

It should surprise no one that in a country with a long history of lynching, mass incarceration of Black and Brown people and general bias in the judicial system, a case like Johnson’s could have the outcome that it did. However, there are some extra facts and statistics which shed light on the supremely racist nature of Johnson’s sentencing. A study published in September 2020 by Frank Baumgartner, a political scientist from the University of North Carolina, found that the likelihood of a death sentence in St. Louis County was 3.5 times greater if the victim was white, as opposed to if the victim was Black. According to Baumgartner, the impact of the race of the victim “persist[ed] after the introduction of controls for aggravating and mitigating factors … meaning that these disparities cannot be explained by legitimate case characteristics.”

The study covered the years 1991 to 2018, roughly tracking the time in which McCulloch was in office as prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County. To put it another way, the percentage of death-eligible cases where the victim was Black ended in death 4% of the time, while the percentage of cases where the victim was white ended in death 14% of the time. Race is most definitely a decisive factor in death sentence cases. 

Death penalty: kinder, gentler lynching

Though it may sound overly dramatic to compare the modern day death penalty to lynching, the comparison is more than just a sensationalist analogy. According to a 2015 report by Equal Justice Initiative, 42% of inmates on death row and 34% of those executed since 1976 were Black, despite Black people making up only 13% of the U.S. population. The report points out that starting in the 1920s, southern states began to move away from lynchings, as they were seen to be “bad press.” In place of vigilante violence, these states began to shift towards capital punishment in an attempt to sanitize the process of killing and thus disciplining the Black population. Proving further the link between lynching and modern day state execution, EJI points to the fact that 8 out of every 10 lynchings between 1889 and 1919 took place in the South, and 8 out of every 10 state executions since 1976 have also taken place in the South.

Despite advances in recent years due to the Black Lives Matter movement, African Americans, particularly African American men, are still portrayed as a class of criminals and thus they face massively higher rates of incarceration and state sanctioned executions. The racist U.S. judicial system, which was founded on and continues to thrive on white supremacy, will seemingly never have its fill of the blood of Black people.

Stop the legal lynching of Kevin Johnson

All people of conscience should oppose the execution of Johnson and demand that his death sentence be vacated and clemency granted. Johnson is a clear victim of the broken system of capitalism, which produces poverty and leaves those with mental illness with little recourse, letting them slip through the cracks into abusive and traumatizing situations. No humane system would leave an individual isolated, alienated and broken and then execute him for acting out of that same isolation, alienation and brokenness. The case of Johnson, as well as those of the thousands of other Black men imprisoned and executed by the racist U.S. government, is a damning indictment of capitalism. We desperately need a new system, one which provides for the unique needs of every individual and which focuses on rehabilitation, not cruel punishment.

However, in this very moment, it is imperative that we also fight for immediate clemency for Johnson. At this moment, several progressive organizations have mobilized to fight this impending execution, most notably Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. MADP began a clemency campaign for Johnson in September, which seeks to raise broad public awareness and mobilize the people of Missouri to oppose this injustice. More information about the clemency campaign can be found at www.madpmo.org, where people can sign the petition to halt Johnson’s execution.

Photo credits: Miss Nibor, Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty/Jeremy Weis

Originally published November 21, 2022 on liberationnews.org.


Friday, November 18, 2022

Welcoming New Members, Progressive Caucus Vows to 'Double Down' on Bold Agenda

"There will now be more progressives in Congress than at any other time in modern history," said Rep.-elect Greg Casar of Texas.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus welcomed around a dozen newly elected members to its ranks on Sunday after bold candidates across the country—from Summer Lee in Pennsylvania to Greg Casar in Texas—delivered midterm wins that helped the Democratic Party stave off the widely predicted GOP "red wave."

Buoyed by strong youth turnout, a majority of the candidates that the CPC's campaign arm endorsed for the November 8 contests emerged victorious last week, an outcome that will push the progressive bloc's membership above 100 in the 118th Congress.

The CPC has grown substantially in recent years, and its leaders have attempted—not always successfully—to wield the caucus' numbers to secure legislative victories and influence the Democratic Party's policy agenda on climate, student debt relief, and other areas of critical importance.

The latest membership boost comes after the CPC enacted structural changes in 2020 aimed at making the bloc more cohesive and capable of using its size as leverage in key legislative fights.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the CPC chair, said during a new member event Sunday at the AFL-CIO's headquarters in Washington, D.C. that the additions to the House will help form "the most progressive Democratic caucus in decades."

While Republicans are still favored to take control of the lower chamber even after winning far fewer seats than expected, Jayapal signaled Sunday that the CPC will continue to push for "real transformative change for working people in this country."

"We'll put together our full agenda over the next week or so," Jayapal said.

Among the CPC's top legislative agenda items, according to Axios, are "abolishing the debt ceiling, reinstating the Child Tax Credit, expanding Medicaid through budget reconciliation, antitrust reform, and DREAM Act immigrant protections."

"Majority or minority, we're fighting for the people," tweeted Lee, who fended off a last-minute onslaught of AIPAC spending to defeat her GOP opponent in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District.

Casar, who handily defeated Republican Dan McQueen in Texas' 35th Congressional District, added that "there will now be more progressives in Congress than at any other time in modern history."

Joining Casar and Lee as newly elected members of the CPC are Morgan McGarvey of Kentucky, Robert Garcia of California, Shri Thanedar of Michigan, Maxwell Frost of Florida, Jasmine Crockett of Texas, Jill Tokuda of Hawaii, Delia Ramirez and Jonathan Jackson of Illinois, and Becca Balint of Vermont.

In addition to pushing its legislative priorities, the CPC is also working to ensure that progressives are represented in the upper ranks of the Democratic Party's leadership in Congress.

Last week, Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.)—the CPC's vice chair for new members—announced his bid for House Democratic Caucus chair, a term-limited position currently held by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). In 2018, House Democrats elected Jeffries to the post over progressive Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.).

"As votes across the country continue to be counted, it is clear that the stakes of the 118th Congress could not be higher," Neguse wrote in a letter to colleagues on Thursday. "With our country at a crossroads, it will be more important than ever for the House Democratic Caucus to be unified and singularly focused. It is with that in mind that I respectfully request your support of my candidacy for chair of the House Democratic Caucus."

Saturday, November 5, 2022

KFF/theGrio Survey of Black Voters - Voter Priority Issues

KFF/theGrio Survey of Black Voters

Mellisha Stokes , and Mollyann Brodie Published: Oct 18, 2022

Economic Concerns Top Of Mind For Black Voters, But Non-Economic Issues Also Seen As Important In Voting Decisions

As the election approaches, economic issues loom large for Black voters and their families. When asked to state in their own words the top concern facing them and their families, about three in four (73%) Black voters point to economic concerns, including 32% who mention inflation and the cost of living and 21% who mention financial problems such as loss of income and making ends meet. Voters under age 65 are particularly likely to mention economic concerns (78% vs. 53% of those ages 65 and older), while a larger share of those ages 65 and older mention health concerns (17% vs. 7% of those under age 65). Crime, gun violence, and safety were raised by 3% of Black voters, while 2% named racism and racial disparities.

More broadly, at least six in ten Black voters say it’s a bad time to be a Black man (67%), a Black woman (62%), or a Black child (67%) in the US. Further, around eight in ten (81%) feel the economic system in the U.S. is stacked against people like them and a similar share say the same about the U.S. political system (79%).

Black voters prioritize a variety of issues as very important to their midterm vote, including economic as well as non-economic issuesBlack voters cite an array of issues as very important when considering who to vote for this fall, with no one issue taking the top spot. In a top tier, six issues are clustered together, each with three in four or more Black voters who say the following are very important to their midterm vote: voting rights (80%), health care costs (78%), gun violence (77%), inflation, including gas prices (76%), criminal justice and policing (75%), and the affordability of housing (75%). Ranking somewhat lower is abortion access (64%), followed by climate change (52%), and immigration (38%). Mirroring broader partisan differences in the population as a whole, Black voters who identify as Democrats or lean toward the Democratic party are more likely to cite voting rights, health care costs, gun violence, abortion access, and climate change as important issues in their vote; those who identify or lean Republican are more likely to prioritize inflation and immigration.

Housing affordability ranks higher as a voting issue for certain groups of Black voters, including women, younger voters, and those with lower incomes. Housing affordability is a top issue for lower-income Black voters, with 84% of voters with incomes under $40,000 saying it is very important to their vote, compared to 57% of those with incomes of $90,000 or more. The cost of housing is also named as an important voting issue by a larger share of younger voters compared to older Black voters (78% of those under age 50 vs. 72% of those 50 and older) and for Black women compared to men (82% vs. 67%).

Gender is an important divide on other issues as well. Beyond housing affordability, Black women voters are more likely than Black men voters to say certain issues are very important to their vote, including health care costs (83% vs. 73%), gun violence (84% vs. 69%), inflation (79% vs. 71%), and abortion access (68% vs. 58%).

 

When asked about economic issues they would most like Biden and Congress to address, Black voters focus on basics like food and housing as well as the cost of health care. Of the issues polled, the cost of housing is a top concern for Black voters, with about three in ten (31%) saying it is the economic issue facing U.S. consumers they most want the President and Congress to address, including higher shares of women, younger voters, and those with lower incomes. About a quarter cite other necessities like the cost of food and health care, respectively.

In a sharp turnaround from early this summer, when gas prices were at their peak and the cost of gasoline took the top spot in a KFF poll of all adults, the cost of gas now ranks lower as a priority among Black voters.1 One in ten Black voters now cite the cost of gasoline as the economic problem they most want the President and Congress to address, while a similar share (12%) cites student debt.2


Six In Ten Black Voters Say Congress Should Prioritize Policies To Improve Health Care For Black People

When asked about various things Congress could do to help improve health care for Black people in the US, Black voters prioritize many potential policies, with about six in ten saying each option polled should be a top priorityNearly two-thirds (64%) of Black voters say increasing funding for services that would improve health care for Black mothers and babies is a top priority. About six in ten prioritize expanding government health insurance for lower-income people in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs (62%) as well as increasing funding for treating health problems like heart disease and diabetes that disproportionately affect Black people (60%). A similar share (57%) also say it should be a top priority for Congress to increase funding to train medical professionals on anti-racism and how to provide culturally appropriate health care to Black people.

On many of these issues, Black women voters and those with lower incomes are particularly likely to see each of these as top priorities for Congress. Larger shares of Black women than Black men voters say increasing funding for services that would improve health care for Black mothers and babies (70% vs. 58%), increasing funding for health problems that disproportionately affect Black people (68% vs. 51%), and training medical professionals on anti-racism and culturally appropriate care (63% vs. 50%) should be top priorities for Congress.

Black voters with household incomes of less than $40,000 a year are more likely than those with incomes of $90,000 or more to say Congress should prioritize increasing funding for services to improve health care for Black mothers and babies (68% vs. 52%). There is a similar gap in the share of lower-income and higher-income Black voters who say it should be a top priority for Congress to expand government health insurance coverage for lower-income people in states that have not expanded their Medicaid programs (67% vs. 54%).


This article originally appeared at KFF.org, October 18th, 2022.

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