FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 18, 2020
Senior Director of Communications
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the Alliance for Youth Action, in collaboration with HIT Strategies, released the full results of their youth voter poll. The poll found that almost half of those polled do not identify with either political party; that young voters do not feel the effects of an economy on the up-swing; are more issue-oriented than candidate-oriented; and are very engaged in politics.
“The issues of burdening student debt, high housing costs, worsening climate threats, prescription drug costs, terrifying gun violence, and more drive young people to the polls,” said Sarah Audelo, Executive Director of Alliance for Youth Action. “Candidates must show that they are willing to bring the issues young people care about to the table and have robust plans for how to address them.”
“For young voters, independence is an integral part of their political identities,” says Terrance Woodbury, a Partner at HIT Strategies that conducted this survey. “While the policy agenda that young voters prioritize aligns very closely with what we have heard from Democratic candidates, young voters must be persuaded to support Democrats if the Party is ever going to recognize the potential advantage that the biggest voting bloc in the electorate presents for them.”
Here are five key findings of the survey from the Alliance for Youth Action and HIT Strategies:
1. Many young voters do not identify as either party and are very dissatisfied with the direction of the country.
- 28 percent of registered youth voters identify as independent and 4 percent of young registered voters identify as other
- Only 20 percent of young registered voters identify strongly with the Democratic Party and only 11 percent of young registered voters identify strongly with the Republican party
2. Forty-seven percent of young voters believe that their generation will be worse off financially than the previous generation
- 58 percent of Democrats believe they will be worse off while only 29 percent of Republicans believe so
- Only 8 percent of Democrats believe the economy for their generation will be better than that of the previous one, compared with 36 percent of Republicans
- And 27 percent of Democrats and 30 percent of Republicans believe the economy of their generation will be roughly the same as that of the previous generation
3. Young people are very engaged in politics
- 54 percent of registered youth voters reported watching, reading, or listening to news about politics at least monthly
- 57 percent of registered youth voters said they talk about politics with their family at least monthly
- 45 percent said they talk about politics with their friends at least monthly
4. Young people vote to make a difference on issues that matter to them, not to oppose 1 party or the other
- The number one reason that young people cited as a reason that they will likely be a voter in 2020 was to make a difference on the issues that matter.
- Of young registered voters who plan not to vote in 2020, 25 percent cited a belief that their vote doesn’t count, 24 percent cited not knowing enough about the candidates, and 19 percent cited a belief that voting doesn’t change anything as reasons for sitting out this election
5. Top policies among young Democrats
- 92 percent of young Democratic voters ranked reducing prescription drug costs as a top policy issue, putting it at the top of young Democratic voter’s policy agenda
- The next top policy issues were transitioning to 100% clean and renewable energy (91 percent), offering trade certification programs in high schools (88 percent), and declaring a climate change national emergency (86 percent)
On Wednesday, February 19 at 2:00 p.m. ET, the Alliance for Youth Action and HIT Strategies will hold a joint press conference call. All press who wish to attend the call should register at this link.
The Alliance for Youth Action is a nationwide network of organizations building the progressive political power of young people across America to strengthen our democracy, fix our economy, and correct injustices through on-the-ground organizing. The Alliance supports and scales the work of local organizations to build a movement of young people, by young people, and for all people.