FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
June 26, 2020
Significant findings show that systemic racism and discrimination is the top concern for persuadable young voters who are highly motivated to vote in November
WASHINGTON – The Alliance for Youth Action, in collaboration with Change Research, released results of their first in a series of monthly tracking polls of persuadable young voters in battleground states. The poll found that systemic racism and discrimination is the top issue for persuadable young voters across age and race; older Millennials are more enthusiastic about Vice President Biden than younger voters; concern for COVID-19 varies among racial groups; young Black and Latinx voters think in-person voting is more secure than voting by mail; and the Biden campaign has yet to effectively reach young voters.
“Young people are out in the streets and in city councils, school boards, and more demanding change from every level of government on the dismantling of white supremacy in our country,” said Sarah Audelo, Executive Director of Alliance for Youth Action. “Now that we’re nearly 100 days out from the election, Vice President Biden must respond to the demands of young people and put forth solutions that address the multiple crises we are facing as a nation. Systemic racism and discrimination impact every aspect of our society and addressing these problems are long overdue. Young people are fed up with generations of inaction.”
“One important finding from this poll is that overall, these voters report that systemic racism is a top issue in this election, but far more Black and Latinx voters cited coronavirus as a top issue priority than White voters did, and reported more concern about various impacts of coronavirus on their health and finances than White voters did,” said Lauren Goldstein, Survey Data Analyst for Change Research. “It’s important to recognize and communicate to voters that these two issues are intertwined—that systemic racism has helped create the disproportionate impact of coronavirus on communities of color.”
Here are the key findings of the survey from the Alliance for Youth Action and Change Research:
1. While persuadable young voters are highly likely and motivated to vote in November, Gen Z voters are not as enthusiastic about a Biden presidency as Millennials – an important reminder that these are two distinct generations with different lived experiences who need to be engaged in unique ways.
- 80 percent of voters “definitely” plan to vote in November.
- 75 percent of voters would vote for Biden.
- 40 percent of voters aged 18 – 25 are at least somewhat favorable with Biden
- 52 percent of voters aged 26 – 34 are at least somewhat favorable with Biden
- 61 percent of voters aged 35 – 39 are at least somewhat favorable with Biden
- Trump’s unfavorables are very high across all ages.
2. Systemic racism and discrimination is the top issue among young persuadable voters while other issues vary widely among racial groups.
- 48 percent of voters selected systemic racism and discrimination as their top issue.
- 41 percent selected affordable healthcare as a top issue, but prioritization varies by demographic. 52 percent of white voters chose affordable healthcare as their top issue while only 21 percent of Black voters and 35 percent of Latinx voters chose this as a top issue.
- Climate change is a higher priority with white voters. 42 percent of white voters while only 17 percent of Black voters and 26 percent of Latinx voters chose this as a top issue .
3. Persuadable young voters are very concerned about the impact COVID-19 will have on their parents’ health. Other impacts of COVID-19, including economic stress and their own health, are of greater concern to young Black and Latinx voters. This reflects the disproportionate impact COVID-19 has had on the health and economic stability of Black and Latinx communities.
- When asked about the impact of COVID-19, 54 percent of persuadable young voters are very concerned about their parents’ health.
- While all groups report high concern for their parents’ health, Black and Latinx voters are considerably more worried about their own health than white voters. 45 percent of Latinx voters and 42 percent of Black voters are concerned about their own health compared to 29 percent of white voters.
- About 1.5x as many Black and Latinx voters are “very concerned” about the impact of the pandemic on their lives, particularly with respect to economic stress. 49 percent of Black youth are very concerned about losing their job compared to 37 percent of Latinx youth and 35 percent of persuadable white youth.
- COVID-19 is the top issue for 42 percent of Black voters while 26 percent of Latinx voters and 17 percent of white voters chose this as a top issue.
4. Persuadable young Black and Latinx voters think in-person voting is more secure than voting by mail, a reminder of work that must be done to educate young people of color about voting by mail and the need to expand polling places and early vote to keep voting safe and accessible.
- 47 percent of white voters think in-person voting and voting by mail are equally secure.
- 51 percent of Black voters and 41 percent of Latinx voters think in-person voting is more secure than voting by mail compared to 15 percent of white voters.
5. Almost half of persuadable young voters say they haven’t been contacted by the Biden campaign or the Democratic Party. Of those who have been contacted, there is a racial gap in certain campaign outreach tactics to persuadable young voters. Trump’s digital ad reach to persuadable young voters is on par with Biden’s digital ad reach. Biden has a lot more work to do to reach persuadable young voters where they are, especially in the digital space.
- 43 percent of persuadable young voters have not been contacted by the Democratic party or Biden campaign.
- Only 11% of Black voters report having been contacted by the Democratic party or the Biden campaign through digital ads compared to 44% of white voters.
- 30 percent of voters reported seeing digital ads from the Biden campaign or the Democratic Party. 30 percent of persuadable young voters also reported seeing digital ads from Trump or the Republican Party as well. Gen Zers (18 – 25) report seeing ads from Trump or the Republican Party more than from Biden or the Democratic Party.
- Millennial voters (26-39) use social media as much as they use national print outlets for news; younger voters rely on social media far more than any other sources for news.
This survey consisted of 841 Democrats and unaffiliated Gen Z and Millennial voters ages 18 – 39, with an oversample of 18 – 25 year-olds, in ten Presidential and Senate battleground states (AZ, GA, FL, NC, NH, WI, PA, MI, TX, MN). The survey was conducted via an online panel from June 12 – 19, 2020.
On Monday, June 29th at 11 a.m. ET, the Alliance for Youth Action and Change Research will hold a joint press conference call. All press who wish to attend the call should RSVP here for your unique dial-in number.