Millennials Are Drifting Away from the Democratic Party

Millennials Are Drifting Away from the Democratic Party

Reuters/Ipsos poll shows young people‘s support for the party is waning.

The mood of the young electorate in America, which traditionally leaned towards the Democratic Party, is growing ever more wary of all establishment parties and candidates, according to a new poll carried out by Reuters and Ipsos.

The mood of millennial voters in America is growing ever more wary of all establishment parties and candidates. (Reuters photo: Mike Blake)

The survey shows that while young Americans as a whole reject the Republican Party or Donald Trump, they’re showing less and less love for the Democratic Party too, with the percentage expressing a preference for Democrats in Congress now falling below a majority.

According to the survey, a growing number of young people are unsure how they feel about the major parties, plan to support third-party candidates, or intend to abstain from voting altogether.

Reuters/Ipsos surveyed 16,000 18-to-34-year-old registered voters in an online poll that ran from January to March. Pollsters offered the same survey to thousands of young U.S. voters during the first three months of 2016.

Some highlights of the poll were as follows:

Twenty-six percent of those surveyed this year did not lean toward either Democratic or Republican candidates—up from 18 percent in 2016.

Since 2016, young voters’ stated preference for Democratic candidates fell 9 percentage points, to 46 percent overall.

Two years ago, 55 percent of those surveyed said they would vote Democrat and only 27 percent said they would vote Republican.

This year, the percentage of self-professed GOP voters held relatively steady, at 28 percent (in a poll with a margin of error of 1 percentage point). Yet the poll revealed a clear increase of young white males drifting rightwards in their party preference.

In 2016, young white men favored Democrats 48 percent to 36 percent. This year, they preferred Republican candidates to Democrats by 46 to 37 percent.

All of this “presents a potential problem for Democrats who have come to count on millennials as a core constituency—and will need all the loyalty they can get to achieve a net gain of 23 seats to capture control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November,” Reuters notes.


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Paul Imison
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