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Fewer Younger Voters

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By: Rebecca Downs – townhall.com – June 24, 2024

With former and potentially future President Donald Trump’s “guilty” verdict taking place almost a month ago now, and the debate with President Joe Biden happening this week, there’s been an onslaught of polls being released as we get closer to the November election. Many of these polls include how specific demographics feel about the candidates, in this case young voters.

On Sunday, CBS News/YouGov America released a new poll which found that Trump has an edge over Biden, 50-49 percent. A headline for the poll’s release focused on young voters, with “America’s new generation gap: Young voters say they’ll inherit a more challenging world. But will they vote in it?

“It’s actually not all ok, Boomers — at least not in the eyes of America’s youngest voters,” the write-up begins. “Many under 30 believe their elders are leaving them a more dangerous world, with a worse environment and less opportunity,” it adds. There’s a note on how these young voters feel affected economically, as well:

Today, they overwhelmingly feel it’s become harder to buy a house (current interest rates would suggest they’re right), to raise a family, to get what they consider to be a good job (this, despite the strong national jobs numbers) or to start a business than it was for generations before them.

And yet, as the headline suggests, they might not actually vote in this year’s election:

Yet for all those concerns — or maybe because of them — they aren’t planning to vote as much as their elders. They’re thinking less about the election right now, and fewer of them say they’ll definitely vote than their older counterparts. 

So the extent to which they do or don’t participate in ’24 could be the most immediate way they’ll shape the future for us all. 

When it comes to the numbers, while 50 percent of likely voters, including leaners, support Trump, 61 percent of voters under 30 support Biden, and just 38 percent support Trump.

How many young voters are actually likely to vote, though? Among overall registered voters, 81 percent say they “definitely will vote.” Among those under 30, that number drops to 66 percent, the lowest of any demographic. Twenty percent say they “probably will vote,” and 2 percent say they “definitely will not vote.”

The poll notes one reason why young voters might not be as likely to participate: They’re not satisfied with the candidates.

“For younger voters, a lot of whom aren’t satisfied with the choices they have, candidate satisfaction matters more. When they aren’t satisfied with the candidates, they aren’t as apt to show up,” the write-up notes. Thirty-seven percent of the under 30 crowd note they’re “disappointed” with the candidates and the choices they have, their most chosen response.

As a side note, Trump looks to have the edge on such a question overall. Republicans are more likely to say they “definitely will vote.” Among Republicans, that number is 88 percent, while it’s 80 percent among Democrats.

Young Republicans also are more likely to turn out than young Democrats. “Right now, young Democrats express comparably less likelihood of turning out than young Republicans,” the write-up notes.

Young voters are also the least likely to say they think “a lot” about the presidential election. While 51 percent of registered voters say they think “a lot” about the election, only 34 percent of voters under 30 say they same.

When it comes to the issues, abortion is mentioned several times. “For voters under 30, the economy is a major factor in their vote, as it is for all voters, but they’re more likely to also include other issues in their calculus, such as abortion, climate, and issues of race and diversity — all of which accrue to a Biden vote.”

Overall, 51 percent of likely voters say abortion is a “major factor,” with 57 percent of voters under 30 saying so. While just 38 percent of likely voters say so about “issues of race and diversity,” 52 percent of voters under 30 say it’s a “major factor.” Similarly just 39 percent of likely voters say climate change is a “major factor,” while 54 percent of voters under 30 say it is.

Likely voters under 30 who list climate change, race and diversity, or abortion as “a major factor,” all heavily favor Biden over Trump.

There’s some further notes on those issues, though:

(We should note, they’re voting for Mr. Biden when they say diversity is a top issue, but a substantial portion of them still think he hasn’t gone far enough promoting it, so it’s not that they’re completely satisfied with the president.)

If the Biden camp wants to motivate turnout along abortion lines, they may have some work to do:

Most younger voters want abortion to be legal — as do most voters overall — but they’re less likely than older Americans to think Biden would try to pass a national law legalizing it, and more likely than their elders to be unsure what he’d do. 

They’re also more apt to think Trump would do nothing, or to be unsure what Trump would do.

For the CBS News write-up to say the Biden reelection camp “may have some work to do” is to put it very politely.

The Biden White House has been insisting on the passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA), which would expand the Roe v. Wade decision that Dobbs v. Jackson overturned. Such a bill, which Biden has even expressed support for nuking the filibuster over, would make abortion available in all 50 states up until birth for any reason without legal limit.

As much as the Biden reelection campaign is prone to lying about Trump’s abortion stance – which is to leave the issue to the states – the poll shows voters don’t look to be buying it. A plurality of all voters, at 45 percent, believe that Trump will “leave abortion laws to the states to decide” if he’s elected, which includes a plurality of voters under 30 as well, at 41 percent.

There’s more bad news for Biden among young voters in the new poll. When registered voters were asked “which candidate understands the needs and concerns of younger people under 30 today,” a plurality of voters, at 41 percent, say “neither of them does,” with 48 percent of voters under 30 saying so.

A majority, at 52 percent of young voters, say both Biden and Trump’s ages are a factor in their vote. Even worse, though, is that just 29 percent of such voters say Biden “has wisdom,” while 49 percent believe he “is out of touch,” 40 percent say he “is ineffective,” 42 percent say he “may make bad decisions,” and 44 percent say he “may not finish a second term.” These numbers are kind compared to how overall registered voters and other demographics feel.

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Source: Here’s What a New Poll Says About How Young People Vote