Battleground voters with disabilities break decisively for Biden as 2020 comes to a head.
Washington, D.C., Nov. 2 – In an election like no other, a new poll indicates that voters with disabilities and voters in the wider disability community are overwhelming voting for Democrat Joe Biden. This battleground state poll, conducted by Democracy Corps on behalf of the disability inclusion organization RespectAbility, shows that when asked, 60 percent of voters with disabilities cast their vote for Biden compared to only 51 percent of voters without disabilities.
Digging deeper into the poll shows a 25-point split between those people with disabilities supporting Biden and those supporting the President. Fully 60 percent of voters with disabilities say they have or will vote for Joe Biden, compared to only 35 percent of voters with disabilities supporting President Trump. Likewise, the Greenberg poll also captures the views of voters who are part of the wider disability community, such as having family or friends with disabilities. Similarly to people with disabilities themselves, 60 percent of voters who are members of the wider community support Biden compared to 35 percent supporting the President. Among voters without disabilities, 51 percent supported Biden compared to 46 percent supporting Trump.
The poll also captured key information about the most important issues for voters with and without disabilities. For voters without disabilities, 53 percent said that the economy was their top issue in the election compared to only 43 percent of voters with disabilities. For voters with disabilities, 45 percent say that access to healthcare was their top issues, as it was for 46 percent of voters in the wider disability community.
A 2016 poll conducted by RespectAbility showed that voters with disabilities split their votes between President Trump (46 percent) and Secretary Hillary Clinton (49 percent). This time, voters with disabilities are breaking for the Democratic Party and could well propel the former Vice President to victory.
“This is a decisive change in the voting patterns of the disability community,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, RespectAbility’s President. “We are seeing a completely different situation now – so much so that if Biden wins, it may well be because of his outreach to the disability community and his campaign’s efforts to get the disability vote to the polls.”
The Biden campaign won widespread praise for releasing a comprehensive plan on disability issues back in May and later completing a nonpartisan questionnaire on disability issues. At the same time, despite multiple efforts to connect, the President’s reelection campaign did not submit their own answers to RespectAbility’s nonpartisan questionnaire on disability issues. The RespectAbility candidate questionnaire can be found at www.VoteAbility.com and has been distributed in all 50 states.
Researchers at Rutgers University estimate that approximately 38.3 million people with disabilities are eligible to vote in this year’s election, which is roughly one-sixth of the electorate. Voters with disabilities want access in democracy, just like anyone else. At the same time, they have specific issues of interest. For example, of the 22 million working age (18-64) people with disabilities in our country, fully 70 percent of them are outside of the labor force.
The one in four adults with the disability include people with spinal cord injuries, low vision or who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing, as well as those with learning disabilities, mental health conditions, Autism or other disabilities. The sheer number of people with disabilities makes them the nation’s largest minority community.
Thus, 14 of the nation’s largest disability organizations, including RespectAbility, have joined together to urge all Americans who care about issues related to disability to vote on November 3rd. RespectAbility also has released 50 state nonpartisan voters guides, as well as issue-based guides – from education to immigration – containing key information on where candidates stand on issues impacting Americans with disabilities.
If voters with disabilities have any difficulties when voting, they can reach out to their local Protection and Advocacy organization. There also are several election hotlines you can contact, including the ASL Hotline at 301-818-VOTE (301-818-8683) and the Election Protection Hotline at these numbers:
- English, talk or text: 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
- Spanish or English: 888-VE-Y-VOTA (888-839-8682)
- Asian Languages or English: 888-API-VOTE (888-274-8683)
- Arabic or English: 844-YALLA-US (844-925-5287)
RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of their communities. RespectAbility does not rate or endorse candidates.