“This is not a general youth survey. These are voters that Vice President Biden should take after,” said Sarah Audelo, executive director of the Alliance for Youth Action, a non-partisan organization dedicated to raising youth participation and political engagement.
Commissioned by the Alliance and led by data analytics company Civiqs, the survey surveyed 1,241 young and independent Democrats defeating the Democrat in swing states. It reached registered voters July 18-20 in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin. The margin of error was a little or a decrease of 3.2 percentage points.
Historically, political campaigns have not invested deeply in young people, resulting in lower rates than those of older generations, they are more likely to identify as independent and have a growing mistrust of government and institutions. Data from groups such as the Alliance and the research organization CIRCLE show that young people are less likely to be contacted by campaigns or get information about voting. The numbers are even lower for inexperienced college youth.
With the pandemic eliminating the most significant in-person contact, Audelo highlighted the need for campaigns targeting Gen Z and Millennial voters through digital awareness to ensure participation.
Had the election been held today, the vote would have found that nearly 90 percent of young Democrats would choose Biden. But it has been well documented that Biden is facing a gap of enthusiasm, especially with young Black voters.
While those surveyed almost unanimously dislike President Donald Trump, 27 percent also rated Biden more or less favorably. That number jumps to 31percent for the youngest black millennial and Gen Z Democrats or Democrats.
With Trump’s recent comments on the postal vote, the poll shows a large share of these young Democrats who intend to vote by mail – though some don’t know how. Only 36 percent say they plan to vote in person, while 43 percent plan to vote by mail. Another 9 percent said they want to vote by mail, but don’t know the rules in their state.
Younger white Democrats (30 percent) are less likely to say they vote personally than Black people (48 percent) or Latinos (40 percent).
However, with 2020 being such a tumultuous year, youth voting advocates are hoping to improve the desire for youth change, loosened by the country’s response to Covid-19 and the wave of protests against police killings and systemic racism.
Polled voters are named coronavirus and end up systemic racism and discrimination of their top priorities. Twenty-nine percent of voters chose to “undermine the police” as the most important criminal justice reform – the highest of any other initiative.
“Persuasive young voters are highly motivated to vote up and down the ballot this year,” Audelo said. “But Vice President Biden has a lot of work to do to earn their votes.”