Clinton is positioned to win a similar percentage of young voters to that of Barack Obama in 2012 (60%), says the latest survey

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Hillary Clinton

A new GenForward survey released today shows that support for Hillary Clinton among young white adults has increased in the past month.

Now she is positioned to win a similar percentage of young voters to that of Barack Obama in 2012 (60%). However, Clinton’s coalition includes more young whites and fewer African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino/as.

The GenForward survey is part of the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

It examines how young people feel about the 2016 presidential campaign and provides the only source of comprehensive data on how young people perceive the candidates.

In the past month, support for Clinton among young whites has gone from being about even with support for Donald Trump to now having a 35% to 21% edge over the Republican candidate.

Clinton also leads Trump among young whites likely to vote (51% vs. 23%). In addition, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino/as continue to be more likely to favor Clinton over Trump.

Researchers suggest that overall, the level of youth support for Hillary Clinton looks nearly identical to youth support for Barack Obama in 2012.

However, the coalition of young voters supporting Clinton is not the same as the coalition that helped elect Obama in 2012.

The survey results also highlight how young people’s attitudes toward recent presidential campaign controversies are largely based on which candidate they support.

Majorities of young people of all races and ethnicities say Clinton’s description of Trump’s supporters as “deplorable” is mostly accurate, with Clinton backers more likely than Trump supporters to think it is accurate.

Likewise, about 9 in 10 Clinton supporters across all racial and ethnic groups say Trump referring to a former Miss Universe as “Miss Piggy” makes them less likely to vote for him, while fewer Trump supporters are impacted by it.

Yet, even among Trump’s own supporters, about half say these comments make them less likely to vote for him.

However, there is little difference in attitudes toward Trump among young adults who took the survey before the release of an Access Hollywood video in which Trump describes his treatment of women, and those who took the survey after the release of the tape on October 7.

The fact that there is little difference in the responses of young adults pre- and post-video suggests that Trump’s earlier remarks about women had already had an impact on young voters.

Some of the key findings from the nationally representative survey of young people age 18-30:

  • Support for Hillary Clinton among young whites has increased in the last month. After being about even with Trump in September, Clinton now has a 35 percent to 21 percent advantage over Trump among all young whites, and a 51 percent to 23 percent edge with likely voters.
  • Young African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino/as are more likely to favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, though support among Latino/as continues to lag behind other racial and ethnic minority groups.
  • Hillary Clinton is receiving support from about the same percentage of young people who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 (60 percent), but Clinton’s coalition includes more white young adults and fewer young people of color than Obama’s coalition four years ago.
  • Third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein continue to receive limited support from young people, especially young people of color.
  • Majorities of young adults in every racial and ethnic group believe that Hillary Clinton’s description of Donald Trump’s supporters as “deplorable” is mostly accurate.
  • Although majorities of young people of all races and ethnicities say they are less likely to vote for Donald Trump because of the accusation he referred to a former Miss Universe as “Missy Piggy,” many Trump supporters say such accusations will not impact their support.

As people get closer to the end of this historic election season, it is clear in four GenForward surveys that there are serious racial and ethnic differences in young people’s views on which candidates they support, police brutality, race relations, economic security, student debt, and a number of other important issues.

What remains to be seen is whether and how young people’s attitudes on these issues continue to evolve under a new presidential administration, which is why researchers will continue to monitor these issues going forward.


News Source: NORC at the University of Chicago.
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