Young vot­ers com­ing through for Hil­lary, poll finds

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION + WORLD - By Lau­rie Kellman and Emily Swan­son

Liane Go­lightly has fi­nally de­cided who she’ll vote for on Elec­tion Day. Hil­lary Clin­ton is not a choice the 30-year-old Repub­li­can would have pre­dicted, nor one that excites her. But the for­mer sup­porter of Ohio Gov. John Ka­sich says it’s the only choice she can make.

“I kind of wish it were some­body else, some­body that I could really get be­hind 100 per­cent,” said Go­lightly, an ed­u­ca­tor from Mon­roe, Michi­gan. She’s vot­ing for Clin­ton, she said, only be­cause she can’t stom­ach “child­ish” Don­ald Trump.

Like Go­lightly, many young vot­ers are com­ing over to Clin­ton in the clos­ing stretch of the 2016 cam­paign, ac­cord­ing to a new GenFor­ward poll of Amer­i­cans 18 to 30.

Driv­ing the shift are white vot­ers, who were di­vided be­tween the two can­di­dates just a month ago and were more likely to sup­port GOP nom­i­nee Mitt Rom­ney than Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in 2012.

In the new GenFor­ward sur­vey, Clin­ton leads among all young whites 35 per­cent to 22 per­cent, and by a 2-to-1 mar­gin among those who are likely to vote. Clin­ton held a con­sis­tent ad­van­tage among young African-Amer­i­cans, Asian-Amer­i­cans and His­pan­ics in ear­lier GenFor­ward polls, as she does in the new sur­vey.

The new poll also sug­gests en­thu­si­asm for vot­ing has re­cently in­creased among young AfricanAmer­i­cans, 49 per­cent of whom say they will def­i­nitely vote in Novem­ber af­ter only 39 per­cent said so in Septem­ber. Just over half of young whites, and about 4 in 10 His­pan­ics and Asian-Amer­i­cans, say they will def­i­nitely vote.

GenFor­ward is a sur­vey of adults age 18 to 30 by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the As­so­ci­ated Press-NORC Cen­ter for Pub­lic Af­fairs Re­search. The first-of-its-kind poll pays spe­cial at­ten­tion to the voices of young adults of color, high­light­ing how race and eth­nic­ity shape the opin­ions of a new gen­er­a­tion.

Over­all, Clin­ton leads Trump among young likely vot­ers 60 per­cent to 19 per­cent, with 12 per­cent sup­port­ing Lib­er­tar­ian nom­i­nee Gary John­son and 6 per­cent be­hind the Green Party’s Jill Stein. If Clin­ton and Trump re­ceive that level of sup­port on Elec­tion Day, Clin­ton would match Obama’s level of 2012 while Trump would fall short of Rom­ney’s.

It’s not nec­es­sar­ily be­cause they like Clin­ton, but is nev­er­the­less a late sign of strength among a vot­ing bloc that the for­mer sec­re­tary of state has strug­gled to win over.

“There’s a gray area with her, where maybe she hasn’t bro­ken any laws, but she’s al­ways skirt­ing the edge, it seems,” said Galen Mosher, 30, a light­ing tech­ni­cian from Sandy, Ore­gon, who voted for Clin­ton’s pri­mary ri­val, Ver­mont Sen. Bernie San­ders.

Mosher, who is white, said he got be­hind Clin­ton once she won the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion, be­cause “at least she’s a step” to­ward the free col­lege tu­ition and higher taxes for wealthy peo­ple that San­ders had pro­posed.

The poll also pro­vides ev­i­dence that Trump’s be­hav­ior to­ward women has hurt him among young vot­ers, while Clin­ton’s char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of a large por­tion of the New York bil­lion­aire’s sup­port­ers as “de­plorable” did not dam­age her candidacy.

The GenFor­ward sur­vey in­cluded in­ter­views both be­fore and af­ter the re­lease of a 2005 record­ing on which Trump brags about sex­u­ally as­sault­ing women. But sup­port for Trump didn’t shift among young vot­ers over­all or among young whites af­ter the tape was re­leased, sug­gest­ing the shift in young whites to Clin­ton came first.

All of the poll in­ter­views, how­ever, were con­ducted af­ter the first pres­i­den­tial de­bate, when Clin­ton told the story of for­mer Miss Uni­verse Ali­cia Machado and Trump’s as­sess­ment of her as a “Miss Piggy” af­ter she gained weight. Most young peo­ple across racial and eth­nic lines say that Clin­ton’s ac­cu­sa­tions in that de­bate about Trump’s be­hav­ior made them less likely to sup­port the GOP nom­i­nee.

JAY LAPRETE — THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE

In this file photo, Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Hil­lary Clin­ton takes a photo with sup­port­ers af­ter speak­ing at Fort Hayes Vo­ca­tional School in Colum­bus, Ohio. A new poll finds that young vot­ers are start­ing to come through for Clin­ton, par­tic­u­larly among whites ages 18 to 30.

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