Washington

Black Voters Are Feeling Great About Jackson’s Supreme Court Confirmation, but It’s Not Translating Into Midterm Enthusiasm

Post-confirmation, just 31% of Black voters are enthusiastic about voting in November, a tracking low

President Joe Biden and Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson walk out of the White House for an April 8 event celebrating Jackson's confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Senate’s vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court last week made good on President Joe Biden’s campaign pledge to put the first Black woman on the nation’s highest court. While that historic achievement is overwhelmingly pleasing to Black voters, according to a new Morning Consult/Politico survey, it doesn’t yet appear to be the shot in the arm Democrats need to motivate the key electoral bloc ahead of the 2022 midterm elections.

Black voters are very positive on Jackson’s Supreme Court ascension
  • In the latest Morning Consult/Politico survey, at least 4 in 5 Black voters said the words “hopeful,” “proud,” “excited” and “happy” described how they feel about Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.
  • Those sentiments were largely echoed among the broader Democratic voter base, of which Black voters constitute a key portion.
  • Republican voters, meanwhile, were most likely to report feeling “worried” (49%), “frustrated” (47%), “indifferent” (41%) or “angry” (36%).
But Black voters are not feeling more excited about the midterms

From the pandemic’s summer resurgence to the chaotic U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the past several months have brought a steady drumbeat of setbacks and negative headlines about unified Democratic control of Washington. 

Democrats may have been hopeful that Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation would invigorate the party’s base — and, in particular, Black voters. But as November’s elections approach, the data suggests that enthusiasm has yet to materialize.

As November Midterms Approach, Black Voters Are Decreasingly Enthusiastic

Share of the following who said they were “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about voting in the 2022 midterm elections

Surveys conducted among roughly 2,000 registered U.S. voters each, with unweighted margins of error of +/-2 percentage points.

The latest survey finds 31% of Black voters are “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about voting in the midterms, down 8 percentage points from last week’s survey conducted ahead of Jackson’s confirmation, and representing an 18-point drop since an early March survey following Biden’s first State of the Union speech. The number marks a record low among Black voters in weekly Morning Consult/Politico tracking that began in September. 

Perhaps more troubling for Democrats is that this downward trend comes despite relatively high resonance for Jackson’s elevation to the Supreme Court: The survey found that 43% of Black voters heard “a lot” about Jackson’s confirmation, with another 29% hearing “some” about it. What’s more, another Morning Consult tracking survey found that positive buzz about the court — the share who heard something positive about it — jumped from 29% to 49% over the past two weeks.

Overall, the findings suggest that whatever goodwill and excitement is coming out of Democratic control in Washington is not nearly enough to match the worsening political environment when it comes to the Black electorate. 

The latest Morning Consult/Politico survey was conducted April 8-11, 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered U.S. voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Morning Consult