As the clock ticks closer to the 2014 midterm election, horse races and political anxiety mounts across the country (at least for those bothering to watch), observers and campaign strategists are bending over backwards to answer what they believe is the key to winning this cycle: How will women vote? Yet, despite their larger mainstream absence from that discussion, observers are also beginning to look very closely at how women of color — and more specifically African-American women — will be voting.

“As their numbers increase and their participation grows, women of color will increasingly have the chance to sway electoral results, influence which candidates run and win, and play a greater role in shaping the policy agenda,” observed Center for American Progress fellow Maya Harris in a recent research note. “This new reality becomes apparent when one considers that women of color are the fastest-growing segment of the country’s largest voting bloc: women.”

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