For Immediate Release
August 30th, 2022
WASHINGTON—Today, the Alliance for Youth Action in collaboration with Civiqs, released the results of their battleground state youth survey. This survey looks at the top policy priorities and issues driving Gen-Z and Millennial voters to the polls this November, their feelings about politicians and government institutions, and their opinions about the 2022 midterms. Increasingly influential with each passing election, youth voters will be a decisive electoral force this November.
The survey of 2,332 registered voters aged 17 – 39 in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin is one of the largest of its kind, focused exclusively on the interests and priorities of young people in 2022 election battleground states. The survey was conducted from August 11 – 15 before the Inflation Reduction Act was passed and President Biden announced his plans to cancel student loan debt.
“The youth organizing that led to President Biden fulfilling his promise to cancel some student debt is why political campaigns can’t afford to dismiss the issues young people care about in the upcoming midterms,” said Alliance for Youth Action Executive Director Dakota Hall. “This poll shows that the Democratic Party must have robust plans for how to address protecting abortion access, democracy reform and voting rights, affordable healthcare, and passing common sense gun laws – the top issues driving young battleground state progressives to vote this November.”
“Once again, all eyes will be on the youth vote, and this poll shows that young people across the political spectrum in battleground states are extremely motivated to vote in this midterm election,” said Drew Linzer, Director of Civiqs. “The good news for political campaigns is that, in contrast to the polling we did with the Alliance in the months leading up to the 2020 election, young voters in battleground states say political campaigns are contacting them in various ways. However, young rural voters and young Black voters are the most likely to say they have not been contacted by a political campaign this cycle.”
Here are the major poll findings:
1. Young battleground state voters in key 2022 election battleground states are heavily focused on two issues: bringing inflation under control and protecting access to abortion.
- For progressive young voters (Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents) in battleground states, nearly two in three (63%) feel that safeguarding abortion access is a top priority for elected officials to work on right now, far surpassing any other issue.
- Republicans and right-leaning Independents currently prioritize economic issues, while progressive voters are very concerned about protecting access to abortion.
- Fully 64% of Democrats say that abortion rights are one of the top three issues they want elected officials to be working on right now, followed by 39% who list common sense changes to gun laws, and 37% who want to increase taxes on corporations and the wealthy.
- Approximately one in four Democrats also list as top priorities replacing private insurance with Medicare for All (27%), canceling student loan debt (23%), and bringing inflation under control (22%).
2. Young voters’ policy priorities drive them to vote in the 2022 elections.
- A very broad 73% of Democratic voters under 40 say that protecting abortion access is one of the top issues motivating them to participate in the midterm election.
- Many Democrats also list democracy reform and voting rights (44%), affordable healthcare (35%), gun violence (34%), and climate change (32%) as key issues leading them to vote.
- Republicans, in contrast, are sharply focused on the economy and inflation, with 80% mentioning this issue as a motivating factor.
- While white (50%), Black (46%), and Latinx (69%) voters are all most driven to vote by concerns about inflation and the economy, many more young white voters (41%) are motivated by protecting abortion access, compared to Black voters (28%) and Latinx voters (26%).
3. Young battleground state voters feel angry and frustrated at politicians and government institutions in Washington, D.C. today.
- Nearly half (48%) describe themselves as frustrated, led by 63% of Democrats, but also 39% of Independents and 38% of Republicans. Nearly as many (42%) are angry, including 57% of Republicans, 55% of Independents, and 18% of Democrats.
- President Joe Biden has a 35% favorable rating among battleground state voters aged 17-39.
- Democrats in Congress are viewed favorably by a slightly higher 41% of young battleground state voters. Only 27% have a favorable opinion of Republicans in Congress.
- The Supreme Court has a poor 36% favorable rating among voters under 40 years old in battleground states.
- There is a view among young voters that the Biden Administration is not working on policies that positively impact their lives.
- Nearly half of young people in battleground states (47%) do not think that the Biden Administration is working on policies that will positively impact their lives, versus 37% who say that they are.
- This negative assessment of the Biden Administration is shared by a plurality of voters across every major demographic group — except people at the very highest levels of education, where 54% say that Biden is working on policies to help them. Among young Democrats, 74% say that the Biden Administration is working on policies that would have a positive impact.
4. Overwhelming majority of young people in battleground states plan to vote this November, and more than half would vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress
- Most young people in these key election states plan to get involved in the 2022 elections: 86% say they will turn out to vote and 36% expect to donate to a campaign or non-profit organization.
- If the November 2022 election were held today, 53% of young voters in battleground states would vote for the Democratic candidate for Congress, while 42% would vote for the Republican candidate for Congress. Independent voters favor Republican candidates, 49% to 41%.
- Young voters are motivated to vote more by candidates who represent their values (43%), than by voting against candidates who do not represent their values (27%). A further 25% of voters view voting as their responsibility regardless of the candidates. Young Republicans (59%) more than Democrats (39%) say that they are motivated to vote by candidates who represent their values. More Democrats (32%) say they are motivated to vote by their sense of responsibility than Republicans (17%).
- A similar 83% say they are extremely motivated to vote in the 2022 elections, including 89% of young Democrats and 88% of young Republicans.
- Half of young battleground state voters (50%) think young people are voting enough, and it is up to elected officials to take action on important issues that matter to young people. About a third (33%) believe that if more young people voted, elected officials would address the issues they care about. Only 1% of young voters in these states think elected officials are doing a good job on the issues young people care about.
5. Political campaigns are contacting young battleground state voters, but there is room to increase outreach to young Black and rural voters
- About 8 in 10 (84%) of young Americans in battleground states have been contacted by a political campaign in the past month: 24% by text message, 13% through the mail, 7% by digital ads, 2% on the phone, and 37% by more than one mode of communication.
- Young rural voters (24%) and young Black voters (22%) are the most likely to say they have not been contacted by a political campaign recently this cycle.
Civiqs interviewed 2,332 registered voters under the age of 40 in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin from August 11-15, 2022. The survey was conducted online, among selected members of the Civiqs research panel. Sampled individuals were emailed by Civiqs and responded using a personalized link to the survey at civiqs.com. The survey results are weighted by state, gender, race, education, and party identification to be representative of the population of registered voters under age 40 in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The general design effect due to weighting is 4.71. The survey has a margin of error of ± 4.4% at the 95% confidence level, accounting for the design effect. All survey results in this report are reported as percentages. More information about Civiqs can be found online at civiqs.com/methodology.