Voter Participation Center Survey: Unregistered African Americans in Battleground States More Motivated to Vote in 2020 than White Counterparts

Washington, DC, April 20, 2020 — Unregistered African Americans in battleground states are more motivated to vote in 2020 than their white counterparts, according to a new survey conducted by the non-partisan Voter Participation Center (VPC). The poll of unregistered eligible voters shows that 25 percent of African American respondents were an 8 or higher on a 1-to-10 scale of likelihood to register to vote in 2020, compared to 17% for their white counterparts. Unmarried women and young people are also highly motivated to vote in 2020, the survey shows.

“While we welcome the news that unregistered African Americans, unmarried women and young people are motivated to vote this year in the battleground states, we clearly have a lot of work ahead of us,” said Page Gardner, the Founder and Board Chair of the Voter Participation Center. “This survey shows the critical need for targeted voter registration work, to ensure that our electorate looks like America.”

VPC targets members of the New American Majority (NAM), which includes people of color, unmarried women and young people. This group is more than 150 million people strong, and they represent 64 percent of the people who are eligible to vote in America.

Latinx unregistered Americans are a demographic group that requires more attention, the new survey shows. Sixteen percent of Latinx unregistered eligible voters in the battlegrounds were an 8 or higher on the likelihood to register to vote scale, which lags slightly behind white unregistered Americans (17%) in the same states. 

On behalf of VPC, Change Research surveyed 1,551 unregistered eligible voters online in seven battleground states (Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin) from March 18-27, 2020. The “Diverse states” – Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina – are 70% of the sample; the “Rust Belt” states – Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin –  are the remaining 30% of the sample. 

Other Key Findings:

  • Young people across the battleground states – particularly the newly eligible to vote in presidential elections – are the most highly motivated to register. One-in-four (25%) of the unregistered under 24 years old give themselves an 8+ on the 1-10 likelihood to register scale, making them one of the most highly motivated groups in this survey. The older the unregistered, the less likely they are to be interested in registering.
  • Unmarried women are more likely than their married counterparts to express a high likelihood to register to vote. Almost one-in-five unmarried women (19%) are an 8+ on the 1-10 scale of likelihood to register (compared to 15% of married women), and 10% were a ‘10’ on that scale (compared to 7% of married women).
  • Among the eligible unregistered in the battleground states, the most highly motivated to register to vote are more likely to express warm feelings towards President Trump and the GOP. While opinions of President Trump are 11-points net-negative among all unregistered surveyed, they are +10 net-positive among those who are an 8 or higher on the 1-10 intent-to-register scale.

Voter Participation Center
Since 2003, the nonprofit and nonpartisan Voter Participation Center has helped register more than 4.4 million voters in the New American Majority–the young people, people of color and unmarried women who comprise 64% of people who can vote in the United States. This year, the organization expects to register at least 1 million voters.

Lala Kumakura,, (646) 828-0791