Study Shows The Importance of Black Women Voters to the Success of the Democratic Party

Ketanji Brown Jackson

A new study by sociologists at New York University finds that the gender disparity in voting preferences between Democrats and Republicans stems, in part, from a greater percentage of female voters being Black and the historical trend of Black voters favoring the Democratic Party. In other words, Black women are an major voting block that is key to the success of Democratic candidates. President Joe Biden is apparently well aware of this fact as he showed no qualms about announcing that his first pick for the Supreme Court would be a Black woman. He followed through with this promise by appointing Ketanji Brown Jackson to the high court.

“The connection between gender and racial disparities in voting has been recognized for some time, but the exact interplay between the two has remained uncertain,” states Paula England, the dean of Social Science at the Abu Dhabi campus of New York University and the lead author of the study. “These discoveries highlight that the gender gap in favoring the Democratic Party can be attributed to the fact that a larger proportion of female voters are Black compared to their male counterparts.”

In every U.S. presidential election since 1980, women have consistently demonstrated a greater tendency to vote for the Democratic candidate compared to men. Importantly, prior studies have revealed that Black men face disproportionately higher rates of mortality, incarceration, and disenfranchisement resulting from criminal convictions. These disparities contribute to a reduced representation of Black men among the voting population, leading to a higher proportion of Black voters being women in relation to other racial groups.

The findings of their analysis revealed that the discrepancy in racial composition between genders accounted for 24 percent of the gender gap observed in favoring the Democratic Party. In simpler terms, since around 90 percent of Black voters tend to support Democrats, which is a considerably higher proportion compared to other demographic groups, the fact that a larger percentage of female voters are Black influences women’s voting preferences in favor of the Democratic Party.

The full study, “Part of the Gender Gap in Voting for Democrats Arises Because a Higher Proportion of Women Than Men Voters Are Black,” was published on the website of the journal Proceedings of the National Academies of Science. It may be accessed here.

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