• Mon. Jan 18th, 2021

Poll: Younger voters are pessimistic about the future, down on Trump

WASHINGTON — The youngest voters in America are pessimistic about the future, worried about the coronavirus, down on President Donald Trump and positive about the Black Lives Matter movement.

Those are the major findings of a new national online NBC News/Quibi poll of millennial and Generation Z voters, which was conducted after the first presidential debate on Sept. 29 and after Trump tested positive for the coronavirus.

Just 30 percent of millennial voters — those ages 24 to 39 — say they feel confident that their children’s generation will be better than theirs has been, while 49 percent aren’t confident in a brighter future.

That’s compared with 40 percent of Gen Z voters — those ages 18 to 23 — who are confident about the future, compared to 41 percent who aren’t.

The poll also shows that 7 in 10 young voters say they’re worried that they or someone in their immediate families might contract the coronavirus, and it finds that about a third of them have taken a coronavirus test.

When it comes to the presidential election, these voters have negative attitudes about Trump, with 69 percent of Gen Z voters and 54 percent of millennials having negative impressions of the president.

In their ballot choices, Gen Z voters prefer Democratic nominee Joe Biden over Trump by more than 40 points, 64 percent to 22 percent, while millennial voters back Biden by 14 points, 50 percent to 36 percent.

The margins are consistent with previous analyses of the youth vote from the national NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll.

Yet these voters are less interested in the coming election than other age groups are.

Just 6 in 10 millennial voters say they have high interest in the election — registering either a “9” or a “10” on a 10-point scale — while fewer than half of Gen Z have high interest in the election.

By comparison, about 80 percent of all voters say they have high interest, according to the latest national NBC News/WSJ poll.

Overall, 51 percent of millennial voters say who wins the election makes a “great deal” of difference to their lives and their families, and 31 percent say the winner makes “quite a bit” of difference.

For Gen Z voters, 37 percent say the winner makes a “great deal” of difference, and another 37 percent say it makes “quiet a bit of difference.”

Millennials, Gen Z give high marks to Black Lives Matter, Planned Parenthood

While more young voters have negative attitudes about Trump, they’re positive about the Black Lives Matters movement and the reproductive-choice group Planned Parenthood.

More than 60 percent of Gen Z voters and more than half of millennials have positive impressions of Black Lives Matter.

And majorities of young voters have favorable views of Planned Parenthood.

A profile of young voters

Finally, the NBC News/Quibi poll provides a profile of young voters, with half of Gen Z voters and a quarter of millennials saying they live at home with a parent, half of both groups saying they’d have difficulty paying off an unexpected $500 bill and a quarter of millennials saying they or someone in their household has more than $20,000 in student loan debt.

And both groups are more diverse than older Americans, with millennials in the poll being 68 percent white, 15 percent Black, 9 percent Latino and 6 percent Asian.

Gen Z voters are even more diverse: 57 percent white, 15 percent Black, 13 percent Latino and 9 percent Asian.

The NBC News/Quibi poll of 250 millennial registered voters and another 250 Generation Z voters was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies and Hart Research from Sept. 30 to Oct. 6. Interviews were conducted online from a national panel of voters maintained by Dynata. The credibility interval for a sample of 250 voters is plus-minus 7.07 percentage points.