A new Harvard University poll Tuesday is blaring a loud danger signal to the Republican Party after finding that millennials are now the largest generation of voters and they are overwhelmingly Democratic, by a two-to-one margin.
The latest youth poll from Harvard’s influential Institute of Politics found that America’s 18-29-year-olds prefer Democrats 65 percent to 33 percent, in part because they don’t like President Trump and are “fearful” about the future.
Public opinion project members gather for the release of our fall #millennial poll. Read the results: https://t.co/4zjkGgvBLs pic.twitter.com/zbQ0iFPoig— InstituteOfPolitics (@HarvardIOP) December 5, 2017
Also driving their concern is a worry that blacks and Hispanics “feel significantly under attack” in the U.S., and that issues younger voters care about such as global warming and gun control are being ignored in Washington.
“American political institutions are at a tipping point,” said John Della Volpe, polling director at Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. “Millennials are now the largest generation in the electorate. This poll and the Virginia election show that they are becoming more motivated — and I believe the fear that exists today about our future will soon be turned into the fuel that will reform our government. The only question is whether this comes from inside or outside the traditional party structure.”
Among young Americans, President Trump’s approval rating now 25%, down 12 points among Republicans since spring 2017, in new IOP poll. pic.twitter.com/SGUB8qbFp2— InstituteOfPolitics (@HarvardIOP) December 5, 2017
The poll, just released at 10 a.m., is widely anticipated by political analysts of both parties as they figure out where younger voters are and what issues they are tuned in to. Della Volpe’s operation has done 34 youth polls since 2000.
Back in the spring, Trump’s job approval with young Republicans looked a lot like his job approval among old Republicans. Not so much, today, per @HarvardIOP pic.twitter.com/t3T3n72Ylq— Kristen Soltis Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) December 5, 2017
Key findings from the poll analysis:
- Just 14 percent of young Americans believe America is generally headed in the right direction; at this moment, fear outpaces hope for our future, 67 percent to 31 percent.
- President Trump job approval rating down 7 points to 25 percent since spring; down 12 points among young Republicans, 8 points among Independents.
- 79 percent of young Americans concerned about the state of race relations today; 68 percent of black Americans and 46 percent of Hispanics believe their race is under attack “a lot” in America, while 15 percent of whites feel the same way.
- Democratic control of Congress preferred 2:1; Democrats more engaged, Republicans less so, compared to 2014 midterm cycle; motivation among Democrats +9 since January.
- Despite Democratic advantages, only 34 percent agree that the party cares about people like them; 21 percent believe same is true for Republican Party and 19 percent for president.
- 67 percent of Millennials believe that America’s greatest threats come from forces inside, not outside, our country. In response to an open-ended question about top threats, President Trump, “ourselves,” and racism were the top responses.
- 61 percent of young Americans believe gun laws should be more strict, representing a marked change since 2013 when less than half (49 percent) felt the same way.
- 50 percent of young Americans have little to no confidence that the U.S. midterm elections in 2018 will be free from Russian interference.
- By more than a 3:1 margin, young Americans believe that social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have an obligation to regulate fake news; this is a non-partisan issue, as Democrats (53 percent) and Republicans (52 percent) hold similar views.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org