Support for Biden Among Young Voters Hits Record Low
Republicans may have an unlikely ally as we move towards the midterm elections: Gen Z voters who feel left behind by the Biden Administration.
“It’s been over a year of a Democratic trifecta and young people are really disappointed because not much has been accomplished around student debt or on ambitious climate goals,” laments Ellen Sciales, a climate activist who assisted Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) during her 2020 presidential campaign. “People are losing hope.”
As reported this week by Politico, Biden’s approval rating among voters ages 18-30 plunged to the mid-to-low 30’s earlier this year. Keep in mind these same voters backed Biden by a 25-point margin in the 2020 election (though opposition to Donald Trump may have played a key role).
According to a CNN poll, voters younger than age 45 represent 60% of a group that voted for Biden but no longer support the work he is doing.
“The current iteration of the Democratic Party has rarely, if ever, been on such shaky ground with young people,” warns Politico contributor Elena Schneider. To compare, approval for former President Barack Obama within this demographic never dipped below 42%.
“Young Americans are being left behind in Biden’s America – we’re facing skyrocketing prices, Biden’s gas hike, and we’ve lost precious time in the classroom that we can’t get back,” argues RNC Deputy Press Secretary Will O’Grady. “Meanwhile, states with Republican leadership have led the way in economic recovery and getting students back in school and young Americans back to work…The RNC has been on the ground since last cycle, engaging and recruiting our next generation of conservative voters who value freedom, opportunity, and love for our country.”
Among this group of voters is Karly Matthews, a 24-year-old climate activist who identifies as Republican. “Caring about climate change and being conservative and believing in small government are compatible,” she told reporters.
Karly and other young voters are growing up in a difficult era defined by catastrophes like 9/11, the financial collapse of 2008, the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, FL, the coronavirus pandemic, and climate change. And while youth activism is generally associated with liberal views, there are plenty of young voters out there who support limited government and fiscal conservatism.
The College Republicans organization, one of the largest groups of young Republicans, hopes to rally Trump voters and non-Trump voters on hot topics like grocery prices and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“On the right, we’re really motivated right now becuase we’re fed up and want change,” says Courtney Britt, a 25-year-old who leads the organization. “The youth vote in the middle is leaning our way right now because they see the things Democrats promised them are not coming to fruition. Maybe it’s time to give Republican policies a try.”
Pollster Della Volpe, an expert on young voters who leads Harvard University’s Institute of Politics Youth Poll, has made similar comments regarding the midterm elections.
“There are more younger people in play than there were in the last two cycles,” says Volpe, who was directly involved in President Biden’s 2020 campaign. “Democrats need to persuade them and mobilize them. That is the new reality.”
Research suggests at least one third of eligible Gen Z voters plan to participate in the 2022 midterms – but this could change if politicians ignore their demographic. Gen Z voters want to see action on the problems they face, whether it be mental health support, student debt, climate legislation, or rent prices.
“We’re just really hungry for leadership,” adds Matthews. “I think Republicans should be looking at 2022 as a huge opportunity to really appeal to the young, disillusioned voter.”