Youth vote in the news 1/26 (and more Gen Z data)
Young Republicans in New Hampshire love Trump, almost 30% of Gen Z identifies as LGBTQ, and how students are considering state politics when thinking about where to go to college.
On Tuesday, I wrote that some young moderates in New Hampshire were backing former South Carolina Gov. and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley in an attempt at blocking former President Donald Trump from becoming the GOP presidential nominee. Well, despite their votes in her favor, amongst Republican primary voters, Trump performed very well. Early data shows that young Republicans in New Hampshire backed Trump by higher margins than any other age group in the Granite State.
According to an analysis of the National Election Pool exit poll by Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts (CIRCLE), 58% of Republican primary voters under 30 voted for Trump on Tuesday. Meanwhile, 36% of that same cohort voted for Haley.
Though there was a Democratic primary, too, of course — CIRCLE only tracked youth participation in the GOP primary. In general, youth turnout in the New Hampshire Republican primary was 16%. Young people ages 18-29 made up 10% of all voters, which is about the same, and if anything a little bit lower, as compared to CIRCLE’s data from past New Hampshire primaries (for both parties).
*As CIRCLE notes in its analysis, when it comes to youth turnout, the last two times only Republicans held a competitive primary in New Hampshire have had the lowest youth turnout across the last 8 presidential primaries in the state; i.e. 2024 and 2012.*
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Far more Gen Zers identify as LGBTQ than older generations and other generational differences
A new survey from the Public Religion Research Institute this week shows that 28% of Gen Z adults identify as LGBTQ, which is far higher than the rate for older generations. Just 16% of millennials, 7% of Generation X, 4% of baby boomers, and 4% of the Silent Generation said the same, according to the group’s research.
The survey identified generational differences in other key areas such as party affiliation, attitudes on religion, and belief in the need for generational change.
Unsurprisingly, at least in my eyes, 58% of Gen Z adults say “we won’t be able to solve the country’s big problems until the older generation no longer holds power.” For what it’s worth, 54% of millennials say the same.
One piece of data I found particularly interesting was that Gen Z teens are more moderate than Gen Z adults. 43% of Gen Z adults identify as liberal, and, according to the survey, 44% of Gen Z teens identify as moderate. I’d chalk that up to the fact that teens are still living at home and therefore are more likely influenced by their parents or caretakers. It makes sense that young adults, especially those absorbing campus culture, would lean further to the left.
Could weed policy woo young voters back to Biden?, Paul Demko for POLITICO Nightly, 1/25
“The president has seen an alarming erosion in support among young voters in recent months, with a spate of national and state polls showing him with a narrow lead — or even running behind — Donald Trump with that demographic. Weed could be the unlikely way back into their hearts for Joe Biden,” Demko writes.
Demko cites a Lake Research Partners memo that shows young voters are the strongest proponents of rescheduling cannabis as a Class III substance (an August FDA review directed by Biden suggested moving the drug from schedule I, where it is now, to schedule III). 65% of 18-25-year-olds are in favor of the drug’s rescheduling.
New Gen Z PAC focused on flipping Florida state seats says it stacked $20K in its first 24 hours, Jesse Scheckner for Florida Politics, 1/25
Scheckner explores the immediate success of a Florida Future Leaders, a new political action committee geared toward engaging young people to turn red Florida state seats blue.
“Florida Future Leaders announced it has already amassed more than $20,000 just 24 hours after filing with the state Division of Elections. Logan Rubenstein, a gun violence prevention activist and adviser to the PAC, said those funds and more to come will help fund Democrats’ comeback in the coming election and ones after it,” Scheckner writes.
“Florida is a story of near misses,” Rubenstein said in a statement, reported by Florida Politics. “There are at least six state legislative seats across the state that we lost in just the last election that we wouldn’t have lost if a larger fraction of the local young Democrats turned out. So, we got the best of the best youth leaders in a room, and we are doing something about it.”
A Group of Trolling Gen-Z Voters Is Buying Up GOP Domains, Makena Kelly for Wired, 1/22
“Voters for Tomorrow has bought up new domain names—GenZforTrump.org and GenZforHaley.org—in an effort to sway young voters in battleground states from backing Republicans in the 2024 election. The websites will redirect to another site, GenZvsFarRight.org, which the group says will outline how “out-of-touch” the GOP’s platform is with the needs of young voters. On the redirected site, the group outlines Trump and Haley’s records on the environment, LGBTQ+ rights, and gun safety, among other issues, without explicitly encouraging people to vote for Biden,” Kelly reports.
Young students deciding on colleges weigh state politics in their decisions, Savannah Sellers and Bianca Seward for NBC News, 1/22
Sellers and Seward explore how abortion bans, LGBTQ+ rights, and gun safety parameters are impacting where high school seniors are enrolling in college. From South Carolina to Ohio, the duo identified high school seniors who have taken state level politics into consideration when deciding where to pursue their college degree.
“I’m not comfortable with being in a state that doesn’t value who I am or value my rights as a person,” said Grace, a high school senior.
“Immediately I had to say no to Belmont [in Tennessee] and a school in Miami,” said Aly Phillips, who “identifies as nonbinary and part of the LGBTQ+ community,” NBC reports, “because I’m not safe there.”
Beyond the students’ perspectives, professionals helping young people apply to college weighed in, too, sharing that this is a trend they’re seeing more and more often when talking with prospective students.
“I see it all the time,” said Christina Taber-Kewene, a college admissions counselor.
Also this week 👀
In case you missed it, I wrote about Gen Z Republicans’ frustration with GOP messaging and party infrastructure for POLITICO Magazine. I also reported on how the White House is working to protect access to contraception in a post-Roe world, with a focus on college campuses, for Her Campus.
Check out our behind the scenes from the White House here:
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