Significant findings show that 40% of young persuadable voters in battleground states still report no contact from the Biden campaign
WASHINGTON – The Alliance for Youth Action, in collaboration with Civiqs released the third in a series of five monthly polls that will track change in youth voter sentiment as it relates to voter enthusiasm, campaign contact, and issue priorities every month leading up to the election.
The poll found that the Biden campaign still has yet to effectively reach young voters; coronavirus increases in importance as the top issue for persuadable young voters; exposure to COVID-19 is the top concern about voting in person while accurate ballot counts is the top concern for voting by mail; in regards to coronavirus, economic concerns have risen in importance relative to health concerns; Medicare for All is viewed as the top way to address the costs of healthcare.
“It is time to ring the alarm. This is the third month in a row we’ve seen forty percent of young people in battleground states say they haven’t been contacted by the Biden campaign,” said Sarah Audelo, Executive Director of Alliance for Youth Action. “Vice President Biden is running out time to appeal to young voters and earn our votes. The Democratic National Convention is where Biden must begin to make the case to them directly.”
“The coronavirus weighs heavily on the minds of young Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents in battleground states,” said Drew Linzer, Director of Civiqs. “Not only is COVID-19 their number one issue priority for the second month in a row, it’s also their top concern when they consider voting in person for the upcoming election.”
Here are the key findings of the survey from the Alliance for Youth Action and Civiqs:
1. The Biden campaign still has work to do to reach and appeal to young persuadable voters in battleground states. The Trump campaign continues to bombard young persuadable voters, especially Gen Z, in battleground states with digital ads.
- 39% of young persuadable voters in battleground states have not been contacted by the Biden campaign in the past month.
- Notably, nearly half (48%) were contacted by the Trump campaign or the Republican Party, approximately the same as in July.
- The Trump campaign continues to dominate digital advertising, reaching 28% of young persuadable voters in the past month—including 43% of those aged 18-25, versus 25% of those aged 25-32 and only 21% of those aged 33-39.
- Only two-thirds (61%) have a very or somewhat favorable view of Biden, 11% are neutral, and 29% have an unfavorable view of the candidate. If the election were held today, 86% would vote for Biden. However, one in ten (10%) young Democratic-leaning Independents currently plan to vote for Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, and 8% remain undecided.
2. Facing COVID-19, many young persuadable voters who would normally be voting in person, plan to vote by mail in November.
- Nearly three-quarters (72%) are concerned about potential exposure to COVID-19 from in-person voting.
- While a third (36%) of young persuadable voters plan to vote in person, a plurality (46%) are planning to vote by mail this year.
- Of those who plan to vote by mail, 30% normally vote in person, but are switching for the 2020 election. An additional (8%) want to vote by mail, but don’t know how.
- The greatest concern about voting by mail is accurate ballot counts (37%), followed by ballots getting lost in the mail (20%).
- Nearly half (43%) of young Democratic-leaning Independents are most worried about their ballot being accurately counted, compared to 34% of Democrats. Overall, Democrats are more confident about voting by mail—34% have no concerns about it, compared to only 26% of Democratic-leaning Independents.
3. The coronavirus is the top issue for young persuadable voters this month. When considering how coronavirus has impacted their life, young people are now more concerned with economic factors more than health factors.
- Over a quarter (28%) of young persuadable voters consider the coronavirus to be the most important issue of the 2020 election, a four-point increase since July (24%). Sixteen percent believe that affordable healthcare is the most important issue and 13% say it is ending systemic racism and discrimination.
- When thinking about the coronavirus, economic concerns have risen in importance relative to health concerns. Worries about losing their job, or the inability to pay bills, rent, or a mortgage, were mentioned as the top concern by 35% in August, versus 30% in July.
4. When asked how to best address affordable healthcare, young persuadable voters overwhelmingly view Medicare for All as the most important way to address the costs of healthcare.
- Half of those interviewed (50%) rank affordable healthcare as one of their top three priorities in the upcoming election, making it the most shared issue overall.
- Nearly two thirds of young persuadable voters (61%) think that Medicare for All is the most important way to address the costs of healthcare. Fully 81% chose it as one of their top three priorities in addressing affordable healthcare, followed by reducing prescription drug costs (65%) and expanding access to mental healthcare (52%).
5. Young persuadable voters view national news outlets as the most trusted source for political information on social media.
- When using social media, over half (58%) of young persuadable voters primarily trust national news outlets to provide accurate information about politics and elections, followed by Internet reporters (14%) and local news outlets (10%).
- As in July, national news outlets continue to be seen as the most trustworthy source for political information: 39% of young persuadable voters trust them the most. Cable news and podcasts are tied at 15%.
- Persuadable Gen-Z voters are far more likely to place trust in social media over cable news. Among older Millennial voters, the pattern is reversed: more trust in cable news and podcasts over social media sources.
Civiqs interviewed 1,079 Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents aged 18-39 in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin from August 4-7, 2020. 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 age, race, gender, education, party identification, and state to be representative of the population of registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents aged 18-39 in the ten states. The survey has a margin of error of ±3.4% at the 95% confidence level, accounting for the weighting design effect. More information about Civiqs can be found online at civiqs.com/methodology.