AP VoteCast: How Black women shape Democratic politics

FILE - In this Thursday, June 6, 2019 file photo, Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., speaks during the "I Will Vote" Fundraising Gala in Atlanta. Among voters in the 2018 midterm elections, AP VoteCast shows that Black women were more likely than women in any other racial or ethnic group to support Democratic House candidates, and their support for Democrats was also somewhat higher than among Black men. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
FILE - In this Thursday, June 6, 2019 file photo, Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., speaks during the "I Will Vote" Fundraising Gala in Atlanta. Among voters in the 2018 midterm elections, AP VoteCast shows that Black women were more likely than women in any other racial or ethnic group to support Democratic House candidates, and their support for Democrats was also somewhat higher than among Black men. (AP Photo/John Bazemore) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

WASHINGTON – Black women are often called the backbone of the Democratic Party — reliable and loyal voters whose support can make or break a candidate.

In 2018, they were more likely than women in any other racial or ethnic group to support Democratic House candidates, according to AP VoteCast, which surveyed more than 115,000 voters nationwide, including close to 7,000 Black women, making it one of the most in-depth available looks at the group's political views.

But that doesn't mean Black women are “typical” Democrats.

An AP analysis of the VoteCast data reveals that Black women's views often stand out as more moderate than the rest of the party.

Black women are less likely to identify as liberal, somewhat less likely to support abortion rights, far less concerned about climate change and somewhat more likely to prioritize jobs and the economy. They are also more protective of President Barack Obama's policies and legacy.

In 2020, the influence of those views was especially clear. Black women came out in force to vote for the moderate in the Democratic presidential primary, Obama’s former vice president, Joe Biden, and rescued his bid.

A closer look at how Black women are shaping the Democratic Party:

IDEOLOGY