Young voters’ support for Democrats may be waning: report

0
25
Young voters' support for Democrats may be waning: report

More young voters backed Democrats than Republicans in last month’s midterm elections, but a new study shows enthusiasm for the party among the critical constituency may be falling off. 

Just over half of voters under 30 (53%) backed Democratic House candidates across the country, while 41% supported Republican candidates, according to the Associated Press.

However, the AP VoteCast analysis shows support for Democrats down by 11 percentage points from the 2018 midterms, when the same demographic gave the party a 64% to 34% edge over Republicans.

In 2020, voters under 30 broke decisively for Joe Biden over Donald Trump, backing the Democrat to the tune of 61% to 36%.

While Democrats escaped what many predicted would be a historic drubbing in the midterms — barely losing their majority in the House while keeping control of the Senate — the analysis shows that cracks may be forming in the party’s ability to hold together the sprawling coalition at the center of its electoral support. 

A woman goes to cast her ballot on Nov. 8 in Brooklyn.
A woman goes to cast her ballot on Nov. 8 in Brooklyn.
AP

Dwindling support among any part of that voting bloc — which includes young voters, blacks, college degree holders, urban dwellers and suburbanites — could spell trouble in the 2024 presidential election, the analysis said.  

Biden, 80, has said he intends to run for reelection, while Trump, 76, announced Nov. 15 that he will mount another bid for the White House. 

“There might have been retrenchment in youth voters,” Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida and an expert on voting and data, told the Associated Press.

Voters wait on line to cast their ballots on Nov. 8 in Austin, Texas.
Voters wait on line to cast their ballots on Nov. 8 in Austin, Texas.
AP

While McDonald cautioned against reading too much into the numbers, he suggested the drop-off may be a consequence of inflation affecting younger voters whose wages are less likely to keep up with rising prices. ​

“Youngest people also have the weakest partisan attachments, so they can be more susceptible to partisan swings nationally,” he said. “There’s no reason why Republicans can’t rebound among younger people.”

Only about a quarter of Democrats under 30 say being a member of the party is “extremely” or “very” important to them, compared with about a third of older Democrats, AP VoteCast shows. 

At the same time, support for Democrats in several key races from midterm voters under 45 exceeded what Biden received in 2020.

Younger voters' support for Democrats may be falling off, an analysis of the 2024 midterm elections found.
Younger voters’ support for Democrats may be falling off, an analysis of the 2024 midterm elections found.
AP

Democrat John Fetterman got 62% of the vote from people 18 to 44 in his victory over Dr. Mehmet Oz in the Pennsylvania Senate race – outperforming Biden’s 56% in 2020. 

Democrat Josh Shapiro got 64% from that group in his win over Republican Doug Mastriano in the commonwealth. 

In Kansas, Democrat Gov. Laura Kelly was reelected and beat Biden’s 2020 margin among younger voters by 52% to 45%.

And Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer racked up 61% of the vote from people under 45 compared with Biden’s 54% in 2020.

However, Democratic candidates in 45 key races as identified by the AP finished below Biden’s numbers among voters under 45.

For example, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak fell seven percentage points short of Biden’s 2020 numbers among those voters in the Silver State (54% to 61%), losing his bid for reelection at the hands of Republican Joe Lombardo.

And in New Hampshire, Democrat Tom Sherman got 43% of the under-45 vote in his loss to Republican incumbent Gov. Chris Sununu. By contrast, Biden won 59% of Granite State voters under 45 in 2020.

Source link