Young Americans under the age of 30, mobilized in part by President Trump's strong disapproval and the Democrats' desire to control Congress, are more likely to vote this year than they were ahead of the election. mid-term of 2014 and 2010, according to a new survey.
The survey, conducted by Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government Policy Institute, shows that young voters could play a bigger role than usual at mid-term this year and that their enthusiasm increased in the last months leading up to the elections.
The poll, obtained in advance by the Washington Post, also indicates that young Americans could have a longer-term impact on the elections and the nation: a desire for increased government intervention, perhaps born from their experience of the economic recession and an epidemic of mass shootings.
"The good news is that they are more engaged than they have been for many years," said John Della Volpe, director of polls at the institute, which is due to publish his results on Monday. "The bad news is that they are mobilized because of the trauma they have suffered."
According to the survey, 40% of voters under the age of 30 said that they would definitely vote this year – 54% of Democrats, 43% of Republicans and 24% of Independents. Enthusiasm has increased between the two parties since the institute's spring poll and is higher than it was before the last two mid-term elections, including in 2014, when 26% said that they would definitely vote.
Republican enthusiasm has increased seven points since the institute's institute poll in April – and is higher than it would be in 2010, when a Republican wave swept the country and led to political party control. by the GOP. In line with other polls, this conclusion hints at uncertainty about the first forecasts of a Democratic wave this year. The democratic certainty of voting is up three points since April.
"This survey shows one of the highest commitments this survey has ever had," said Teddy Landis, 21, a Harvard junior, who helped write the poll's questions. "The most important finding is that 40% of young people say they will definitely vote. It's incredibly exciting for me. "
The actual turnout was generally lower than that of the poll, "Della Volpe said, although next month's results follow this trend, the youth participation rate will be higher than the previous half-years.
Trump has only 26% approval among 18 to 29 year olds. And two out of three young voters probably said they want Democrats to control Congress.
At least six out of ten likely voters voiced their support in the poll for liberal government policies that the Trump government and the GOP-controlled Congress do not favor: universal health care, free education for eligible families, and guaranteed 39, federal employment.
Della Volpe and her students, who contributed to the survey, were particularly interested in the findings regarding the attitudes of young Americans to the economy, capitalism and socialism. According to the survey, voters are slightly more likely (53%) to support "democratic socialism" than capitalism (48%).
Della Volpe, citing the investigations of his institute carried out in 2000, 2001 and 2013-2018, said that he had not noticed a change in attitude as marked since the terrorist attack of September. 11, 2001. At that time, misconceptions about the war in Iraq, coupled with the heightened sense of organizing Barack Obama's presidential campaign, paved the way for a historic participation of young voters in the United States. 2008 presidential election.
The results suggest a potentially parallel opportunity for candidates and parties that choose to prioritize young voters, he said.
The reasons for the increased engagement of voters under 30 are less encouraging, said Della Volpe: a generation that reached its majority during the financial crisis of the late 2000s and at a time when Mass shootings have made the practice of "active shooter" a mundane reality in high schools across the country.
The survey revealed that 65% of potential young voters are more fearful than optimistic. Fifty-nine percent of them said they would be even more fearful if Republicans retained control of Congress.
These constituents want a change of government, whether in the form of new restrictions on gun violence or different approaches to economic security through health care programs, student aid, and other Employment, said Della Volpe.
Youth support for gun control measures has increased since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, last February, he said, adding that the wave of political activism of survivors of this Shooting had also had an impact this year.
The Harvard Institute of Politics has been interviewing young Americans twice a year since 2000, working with undergraduate students to develop questions that capture the attitudes and political commitment of people under 30 years of age. from all regions of the country.
"I think that framing the problems and generating ideas about what to interrogate their generational cohort is pretty compelling," said institute director Mark Gearan.
Richard Sweeney, a 19-year-old sophomore at Harvard, said he was particularly interested in socialism issues because of the unexpected victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist of the Bronx , who defeated Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY) at the Democratic primary in June.
"My friends were talking about it," said Sweeney. "I wanted to see if it was true at the national level."
The survey polled 2,003 Americans aged 18 to 29 between October 3 and 17. Forty-five percent of those surveyed are studying in high school or postsecondary school. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
Emily Guskin and Scott Clement contributed to this report.