National and Key Swing State Black Voter Poll Memo

Last week, amid a round of news stories detailing criminal justice reform policy rollbacks, we released new national polling conducted by BSG on behalf of that shows support for criminal justice reform – and specifically for reducing the number of people in jail and prison – remains high across parties, with majorities of Republicans and Independents and particularly high support with Democrats and Black voters. The national poll sampled likely and unlikely voters nationwide and oversampled Black voters. It was complemented by three state polls in key swing states with large populations of Black voters in Georgia, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, and was fielded between February 13-20, 2024. Today, we are expanding on those results by releasing a new brief detailing the support from Black voters sampled within the poll.

As we enter the general election season, and despite the attention around rollbacks in different parts of the country, voters continue to articulate an understanding that they can and should have justice and safety at once and they remain concerned about incarceration and the ways it disrupts the very structures in communities that make us safe. Support for the policy concepts and the specific policy interventions is highest of all with Black voters, the Americans who have borne the brunt of crime and incarceration.

However, there are many reasons to worry. It is true that opposition to reform is emboldened, despite crime falling to historic levels across the nation after a brief pandemic rise. Tough-on-crime fearmongering remains highly effective. Rollbacks in Louisiana, Oregon, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere are threatening the historic progress that has been made. Since its peak over a decade ago, the incarcerated population is down 21% and the Black incarceration rate has fallen by nearly half.

For more information on the poll, Black voter brief, or to speak with a expert, please contact:

– Zoë Towns, Executive Director,

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