FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
October 22, 2020
WASHINGTON – The Alliance for Youth Action in collaboration with Civiqs released the fifth and last in a series of monthly polls before Election Day that tracked change in youth voter sentiment as it relates to voter enthusiasm, campaign contact, and issue priorities every month leading up to the election.
With less than two weeks until the election, the poll found that the Biden campaign has continued to improve his appeal and outreach to young voters; for the fourth consecutive month, the coronavirus pandemic is the most important issue for the 2020 presidential election among young Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents in ten key swing states; ending partisan gerrymandering and redistricting is viewed as the top way to address our democracy and elections; the majority of these young voters support adding four additional justices to the Supreme Court; and many young Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents in ten key battleground states have already voted or plan to vote early.
“The Biden campaign has less than 2 weeks to reach the 25% of young persuadable voters who still haven’t heard from them. From coronavirus to the economy, racism and discrimination to climate change, young people have so much at stake this Fall and candidates up and down the ballot must make the case directly to young voters of why they deserve thir votes.” said Sarah Audelo, Executive Director of Alliance for Youth Action. “By mask or by mail at the ballot box, drop box, or mailbox, already Generation Z and Millennials are voting and voting in high numbers – but we take nothing for granted. Young people are mobilizing their peers across the country to ensure historic turnout. We know this is the most important election of our lifetimes. ”
“The work that civic organizations like those in the Alliance for Youth Action network are doing to get out the vote is bearing out in the early voting numbers we see among young voters in battleground states,” said Drew Linzer, Director of Civiqs. “Young Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents are not waiting until Election Day to vote and the progressive youth vote is coalescing behind the Biden-Harris ticket as we head into Election Day.”
Here are the key findings of the survey from the Alliance for Youth Action and Civiqs:
1. Young persuadable voters are coalescing behind the Biden-Harris ticket as the campaign increases its outreach to them. Vice President Biden also continues to improve his appeal to young persuadable voters in battleground states while adding Senator Kamala Harris to the ticket either had a positive impact or no impact on these voters’ decision to vote for the Democratic ticket.
- Young persuadable voters have an increasingly positive view of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. In September, 30% of young Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents had a very favorable opinion of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. In October, that proportion shot up to 38%. Overall, three-quarters (74%) of young swing state persuadable voters have a favorable opinion of Biden, an increase from 68% in September.
- Three quarters (75%) of young Black Democrats have a favorable opinion of Biden, as do 74% of whites and 72% of Latinx voters. This is the first month Biden has had a favorability rating of over 70% with all racial groups.
- More young swing state persuadable voters have a very favorable opinion of Kamala Harris—45% to Biden’s 38%.
- Older millennials are more likely to support Harris: 55% of those ages 33-39 have a very favorable view of her, compared to only 30% of those ages 18-25.
- While a majority (53%) of young swing state persuadable voters say that Harris’s selection has no impact on their decision to vote for Biden, over one third (37%) say it makes them more likely to vote for the Democratic ticket, including 55% of Black voters and 37% of Latinx voters.
- Young swing state persuadable voters continue to overwhelmingly dislike President Trump.
- Nine in ten (91%) view the president very unfavorably. This result is consistent across all racial, gender, and age categories.
- Nine in ten young swing state Democrats (90%) would vote for Biden today, virtually unchanged from September.
- Three-quarters (75%) of young swing state persuadable voters have been contacted by the Biden campaign in the past month, a 7% increase from September. Half (50%) were contacted by the Trump campaign, two percentage points lower than last month.
- Biden’s campaign is reaching these potential voters through a variety of methods: 30% have received multiple forms of communication, 26% have been contacted through text message, and 12% have received digital ads.
- While Trump’s campaign is still largely utilizing digital ads, their reach has decreased. Where 25% of young swing-state persuadable voters saw a digital ad from the Trump campaign in September, only 20% saw one in October.
2. The coronavirus pandemic continues to be the most important 2020 election issue for young Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents. The second highest priority is affordable healthcare, followed by climate change. Young swing state persuadable voters’ concerns about the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic also remain high.
- The coronavirus pandemic remains the most important issue in the upcoming election for young Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents, with 27% choosing it as their top priority.
- While a plurality are mainly concerned about the threat to their parents’ health (29%), for another 22%, the greatest worry is that they will lose their job, hours, or income, or get furloughed.
- For 22% of Black youth and 27% of Latinx youth, losing their job, hours, or income, or getting furloughed remains their top concern.
- Over half of young Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents (53%) chose affordable healthcare as one of their top three priorities for the 2020 election, a five percent increase from September. Nearly half (48%) rank the coronavirus and 44% rank climate change as one of their top three issues in the upcoming election. Systemic racism and discrimination was fourth at 37%.
- Among Black voters, ending systemic racism and discrimination is close behind the coronavirus in importance.
- For young white and Latinx voters, the second-most important issue is access to affordable healthcare.
- Younger Democrats are more concerned about climate change: 21% of those age 18-25 chose it as their top issue, compared to 13% of younger millennials (age 26-32) and 10% of older millennials (age 33-39).
3. On issues of elections and democracy, young persuadable voters are prioritizing fair redistricting, an end to partisan gerrymandering, and campaign finance reform to limit contributions from wealthy corporations and individuals.
- Thinking about addressing changes to elections and democracy, a plurality of young swing state persuadable voters(29%) select fair redistricting and ending partisan gerrymandering as the most important issue.
- This is followed by implementing campaign finance reform (19%) and restoring voting rights to people convicted of felonies (11%).
- For Black voters, voting rights restoration ties with fair redistricting and ending partisan gerrymandering as the most important issue.
4. Young persuadable voters in battleground states oppose another Trump nominee on the Supreme Court before the election and there is strong support for Democrats adding four additional justices to the Supreme Court.
- Young swing state persuadable voters oppose the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court before the election. While 47% say Judge Barrett’s confirmation will not impact their vote, 44% of young Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents say that if a Trump nominee is confirmed to the Supreme Court, it will make them more likely to vote for Joe Biden.
- Young swing state persuadable voters overwhelmingly approve of Democrats adding four additional justices to the Supreme Court if Joe Biden becomes president. A plurality (42%) strongly support this idea, including 47% of Democrats and 33% of Independents; an additional 22% somewhat support expanding the Supreme Court.
5. The Senate in the Present and Future: Young persuadable voters in battleground states blame the lack of COVID relief on the Congressional GOP and want to see raising taxes on the wealthy prioritized if Democrats gain control of the Senate after the 2020 election.
- A plurality of young swing state persuadable voters (46%) think that Mitch McConnell and Republicans in Congress are responsible for a lack of an additional COVID federal relief bill. An additional 28% blame Donald Trump and the White House; 17% blame all of Congress, with only 6% holding Nancy Pelosi and Democrats in Congress primarily responsible.
- If Democrats gain control of the Senate in 2020, 36% of young Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independent voters would like them to prioritize raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations. About a quarter (23%) want Medicare for All enacted; and 15% want the Green New Deal to be passed.
6. Young persuadable voters in battleground states are making their voting plans and some have already voted.
- As of mid-October, one in five (20%) young Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents in the ten states polled have already voted.
- Of those who haven’t, nearly half (48%) are planning to vote early in-person, including 58% of Latinx voters and 51% of Black voters. Another one in five (22%) will be sending in their mail or absentee ballot by Election Day. Only 18% say that they are planning to vote on Election Day.
- The youngest voters, ages 18-25, are most likely to be waiting to vote in person. Of those voting absentee or by mail, two-thirds (67%) have already received their ballots.
See more poll findings here.
Civiqs interviewed 1,047 Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents aged 18-39 in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin from October 8-12, 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 ±3.7% at the 95% confidence level, accounting for the weighting design effect. More information about Civiqs can be found online at civiqs.com/methodology.