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Saturday, December 03, 2022

Polls show Biden is losing support from Gen Z. These Young Voters Are Not Surprised

As the political calendar inches toward a midterm election in November, a slew of recent polling points to one thing: President Biden has a problem with young voters.

New NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll found that support for the president had fallen 16 points among Gen Z and Millennials over the past year, up 37% – the lowest of any age group in the US

Harvard’s Institute of Politics also found that approval ratings with Gen Z fell 18 points to 41% in the past year, and Gallup found a 21-point drop to 39%.

Climate change, racial justice and student loans are some of the major issues facing young people, said Christina Tzintzun Ramirez, president and executive director of NextGen America, one of the largest youth vote-raising organizations in the country.

“When you add Millennials and Gen Z, they are the largest voting bloc in American history – the 65 million youth who are eligible to vote in that youth demographic,” she said.

While Democratic pollsters are sounding the alarm, many young voters say it comes as no surprise to them.

According to Associated Press VoteCast, Biden did well in 2020 with younger voters, comprising 61% of voters aged 18-29.

James Quisey Butler, 24, is a Los Angeles-based model and content creator who voted for Biden in the last election. He describes himself as black and queer and says his identity reflects his political views, which are liberal.

His clear assessment of the polls is that Biden was seen as a safe option in 2020 and has not done enough to meet his commitments since his election.

Butler said, “I’m not surprised at all, because we weren’t very excited. I think it was our safety net.” “We gave them our vote, we got a lot of promises, there’s a student loan, which is affecting our generation so much right now. And that big promise is still unfulfilled.”

Without rallying against a candidate like Donald Trump, Butler said he wouldn’t be surprised if more Gen Z voters dropped out of the midterm and next presidential election, or chose to support third-party candidates.

“I totally understand why people are feeling this [they shouldn’t vote], And sometimes, I still feel like that.” Butler said. “They can make a bigger statement than just continuing to spend our time and energy and vote in a system that we’re realizing is just messed up. and does not continue to listen; Really listen to us and we need what we’re saying.”

Eddie Thurber says the lack of trust in the system permeates the political divide among young voters – another Gen Z voter who describes his political views as “fine” though generally leaning conservative.

Thurber is a political science student at Cal State Fresno, California, and in his view, Biden’s problem with young people isn’t just about his track record, it’s also about his representation.

Thurber said, “He’s been in office for the rest of his life. And I think it’s the same with most of the older generation of politicians, young people can’t relate to him at all.”

“Joe Biden’s whole career is about becoming a voice that can do things. He’s, I think, the ultimate ‘good old boy.’ He can do things because he knows everyone,” he said . “We don’t have anyone who can speak for us. We don’t have any ‘nice young boys’ who have connections to do things for us.”

The problem for Democratic strategist Dan Cena is communication, not policy.

The Shiv Sena helped bring Democrats to the House in 2018 and it assesses that they have done a lot to appeal to younger voters, especially toward their track record in fighting climate change and addressing equity and inclusion. Pointing.

In his view, Democrats should focus on messaging and communication if they want to bring more young voters into the fold.

“I think the challenge most Democrats have now is really connecting with Gen Z voters on their record,” he said. “I think there’s a lot that Democrats have to sell Gen Z, we just have to take the time and strategy and campaign to make it happen.”

The military describes Gen Z as a “practical voter” who, overall, aligns with a truly democratic platform. But he says it is more difficult to convince them than the older generation.

There’s always a little bit of “what have you done for me lately and show me the facts”. And I think Gen Xers need a higher standard to prove this point than I think other generations have,” he said.

The ability of Democrats – and President Biden – to do so will be put to the test in November.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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