Democrats Losing Ground...With Millennials?

Image by Erin Nekervis, via Flickr Creative Commons License

According to a new poll, young voters — those aged between 18-34 — aren’t huge fans of President Donald Trump and yet they are moving toward republicanism all the same.


A Reuters/Ipsos poll surveyed more than 16,000 registered young voters in the first several months of 2016 and 2018 and found that young voters had moved toward Republicans Congressional candidates, slipping in their preference for Democrats by roughly 9 percentage points over the past two years, to 46 percent overall.

And while 2/3rds of them indicated they did not like Trump, they seem to like the economic decisions Congressional Republicans are making over their Democratic counterparts.

Terry Hood, 34, an African-American who works at a Dollar General store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and took this year’s poll, said he voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

But he will consider a Republican for Congress because he believes the party is making it easier to find jobs and he applauds the recent Republican-led tax cut.

“It sounds strange to me to say this about the Republicans, but they’re helping with even the small things,” Hood said in a phone interview. “They’re taking less taxes out of my paycheck. I notice that.”

This news comes as something of a surprise considering the pervasive talk over the last month or so about a “blue wave” coming in the 2018 midterm elections that could see Democrats take back many of the nearly two dozen they’d need to regain control of the House and Senate.

However, even with polls like the Reuters/Ipsos survey indicating younger voters are moving toward conservative policy ideas, some Democrats still believe that a blue wave is coming, not least due to increasing interest in voting and with politics in general.


Peter Hart, who conducts the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, which shows a seven-point Democratic advantage, still thinks the blue wave that Democrats hope for is coming.

A Democrat not given to partisan exuberance, Hart cites a more important factor than the generic-preference questions that pollsters are asking now: intensity. Two-thirds of Democrats in his survey expressed a strong interest in this year’s election versus 49 percent of Republicans, exactly the intensity advantage Republicans had in 2010, when they won back the House in a landslide.

Other positive indicators for Democrats include the near-record number of congressional Republican retirements. Money is also pouring in. In two notable upset victories, an Alabama Senate election in December and a March Pennsylvania House contest, the Democratic winners raised more money than they spent. The Political Hotline reported this week that at least one challenger has outraised more than 40 Republican incumbents. That’s unusual.

But if Democrats are to win the seats they seek, they may need to rely on something besides what has always been one of their most reliable trump (pun included) cards: the youth vote.


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