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Polling results from 2008 and 2012 presidential elections show that Black women comprise the most powerful voting block in America.

With that in mind, Essence Magazine and the Black Women’s Roundtable teamed up to conduct The Power of the Sister Vote Poll to find out what African-American women want presidential candidates to focus on during the 2016 election.

A press release distributed by The Coalition on Black Civic Participation states that the most important issues to African-American women voters include affordable healthcare, livable wage jobs, and college affordability.

From The Coalition on Black Civic Participation:

“The top issues for Black women revolve around money and basic needs,” said Melanie Campbell, Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable and president/CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP). “The indication that affordable healthcare is a major concern aligns with our 2015 State of Black Women Report findings that among states with African-American populations exceeding 20 percent, few offer adequate health insurance coverage for Black women. We suspect this is due to the fact that some governors, especially in the South where 55% of the Black population lives, have fought against Medicaid expansion and other quality health care opportunities provided by the Affordable Care Act for partisan reasons. ”

Recently, Essence Magazine‘s Editor-in-Chief Vanessa De Luca; Melanie Campbell, Convener of the Black Women’s Roundtable and president/CEO, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation; and Lauren Victoria Burke, Managing Editor of, spoke with Roland Martin about the influence Black women voters have and the issues that are most important to them.

Campbell told Martin that not only are Black women one of the most powerful voting blocks in America, they are influencers as well.

“We get the men to vote, we get our children to vote, we get our nieces and nephews to vote, and so what we know is that Black women are motivated by our issues being addressed.”

The polling data compiled from the survey revealed the most important Power of the Sister issues as follows:

  • Affordable healthcare – 49%
  • Living Wage jobs – 43%
  • College Affordability – 38%
  • Quality Public Education – 38%
  • Criminal Justice Reform – 37%

One issue that all Black women seem to agree upon is their dislike of the Republican Party. NewsOne Now panelist Lauren Victoria Burke explained their “hate” of the GOP is a result of Black women’s issues not being addressed.

Watch Roland Martin, Vanessa De Luca, Melanie Campbell, and Lauren Victoria Burke discuss The Power of the Sister Vote Poll in the video clip above.

TV One’s NewsOne Now has moved to 7 A.M. ET, be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, in its new time slot on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.


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The Power Of The Sister Vote  was originally published on