Young Amer­ica down on Trump

Pushed by large num­ber of mi­nori­ties, most age 18 to 30 see pres­i­dency as il­le­git­i­mate

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Lau­rie Kellman and Emily Swan­son

wash­ing­ton» Jer­maine An­der­son keeps go­ing back to the same mem­ory of Don­ald Trump, then a can­di­date for pres­i­dent of the United States, re­fer­ring to some Mex­i­can im­mi­grants as rapists and mur­der­ers.

“You can’t be say­ing that (if) you’re the pres­i­dent,” says An­der­son, a 21-yearold stu­dent from Co­conut Creek, Fla.

That Trump is un­de­ni­ably the na­tion’s 45th pres­i­dent doesn’t sit eas­ily with young Amer­i­cans like An­der­son who are the na­tion’s in­creas­ingly di­verse elec­torate of the fu­ture, ac­cord­ing to a new poll. A ma­jor­ity of young adults — 57 per­cent — see Trump’s pres­i­dency as il­le­git­i­mate, in­clud­ing about three-quar­ters of blacks and large ma­jori­ties of Lati­nos and Asians, the GenFor­ward poll found.

GenFor­ward is a poll of adults age 18 to 30 con­ducted by the Black Youth Pro­ject at the Univer­sity of Chicago with The As­so­ci­ated Press-NORC Cen­ter for Pub­lic Af­fairs Re­search.

A slim ma­jor­ity of young whites in the poll, 53 per­cent, con­sider Trump a le­git­i­mate pres­i­dent, but even among that group 55 per­cent dis­ap­prove of the job he’s do­ing, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey.

“That’s who we voted for. And ob­vi­ously Amer­ica wanted him more than Hil­lary Clin­ton,” said Re­becca Gal­lardo, a 30-year-old nurs­ing stu­dent from Kansas City, Mo., who voted for Trump.

Trump’s le­git­i­macy as pres­i­dent was ques­tioned ear­lier this year by Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.: “I think the Rus­sians par­tic­i­pated in help­ing this man get elected. And they helped de­stroy the can­di­dacy of Hil­lary Clin­ton.”

Trump rou­tinely de­nies that and says he cap­tured the pres­i­dency in large part by win­ning states such as Michi­gan and Wis­con­sin that Clin­ton may have taken for granted.

Over­all, just 22 per­cent of young adults ap­prove of the job he is do­ing as pres­i­dent, while 62 per­cent dis­ap­prove.

Trump’s rhetoric as a can­di­date and his pres­i­den­tial de­ci­sions have done much to keep the ques­tion of who be­longs in Amer­ica atop the news, though he’s strug­gling to ac­com­plish some key goals. Pow­ered by sup­port­ers chant­ing, “build the wall,” Trump has vowed to erect a bar­rier along the south­ern U.S. bor­der and make Mex­ico pay for it — which Mex­ico re­fuses to do. Fed­eral judges in three states have blocked Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­ders to ban travel to the U.S. from seven — then six — ma­jor­ity-Mus­lim na­tions.

Last week in Honolulu, U.S. District Judge Der­rick Wat­son cited “sig­nif­i­cant and un­re­but­ted ev­i­dence of re­li­gious an­i­mus” be­hind the travel ban, cit­ing Trump’s own words call­ing for “a com­plete shut­down of Mus­lims en­ter­ing the United States.”

And, yes, Trump did say in his cam­paign an­nounce­ment speech on June 6, 2015: “When Mex­ico sends its peo­ple, they’re not send­ing their best . ... They’re bring­ing drugs. They’re bring­ing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I as­sume, are good peo­ple.” He went far­ther in sub­se­quent state­ments, later telling CNN: “Some are good and some are rapists and some are killers.”

It’s ex­tra­or­di­nary rhetoric for the leader of a coun­try where by around 2020, half of the na­tion’s chil­dren will be part of a mi­nor­ity race or eth­nic group, the Cen­sus Bureau projects. Non-His­panic whites are ex­pected to be a mi­nor­ity by 2044.

Of all of Trump’s tweets and rhetoric, the state­ments about Mex­i­cans are the ones to which An­der­son re­turns. He says Trump’s busi­ness back­ground on pa­per is im­pres­sive enough to qual­ify him for the pres­i­dency. But he sug­gests that’s dif­fer­ent than Trump earn­ing le­git­i­macy as pres­i­dent.

“I’m think­ing, he’s say­ing that most of the peo­ple in the world who are rap­ing and killing peo­ple are the im­mi­grants. That’s not true,” said An­der­son, whose par­ents are from Ja­maica.

Me­gan Des­rochers, a 21year-old stu­dent from Lans­ing, Mich., says her sense of Trump’s il­le­git­i­macy is more about why he was elected.

“I just think it was kind of a sit­u­a­tion where he was voted in based on his celebrity sta­tus verses his ethics,” she said, adding that she is not nec­es­sar­ily against Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies.

The poll par­tic­i­pants said in in­ter­views that they don’t nec­es­sar­ily vote for one party’s can­di­dates over an­other’s, a prom­i­nent ten­dency among young Amer­i­cans, ex­perts say. And in the sur­vey, nei­ther party fares espe­cially strongly.

Just a quar­ter of young Amer­i­cans have a fa­vor­able view of the Repub­li­can Party, and six in 10 have an un­fa­vor­able view. Ma­jori­ties of young peo­ple across racial and eth­nic lines hold neg­a­tive views of the GOP.

The Demo­cratic Party per­forms bet­ter, but views aren’t over­whelm­ingly pos­i­tive. Young peo­ple are more likely to have a fa­vor­able than an un­fa­vor­able view of the Demo­cratic Party by a 47 per­cent to 36 per­cent mar­gin. But just 14 per­cent say they have a strongly fa­vor­able view of the Democrats.

Views of the Demo­cratic Party are most fa­vor­able among young peo­ple of color. Roughly six in 10 blacks, Asians and Lati­nos hold pos­i­tive views of the party. Young whites are some­what more likely to have un­fa­vor­able than fa­vor­able views, 47 per­cent to 39 per­cent.

As for Trump, eight in 10 young peo­ple think he is do­ing poorly in terms of the poli­cies he’s put for­ward and seven in 10 have neg­a­tive views of his pres­i­den­tial de­meanor.

“I do not like him as a per­son,” Gal­lardo said of Trump. She nonethe­less voted for Trump be­cause she didn’t trust Clin­ton. “I felt like there wasn’t much choice.”

The poll of 1,833 adults age 18 to 30 was con­ducted Feb. 16 through March 6 us­ing a sam­ple drawn from the prob­a­bil­ity-based GenFor­ward panel, which is de­signed to be rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the U.S. young adult pop­u­la­tion.

The mar­gin of sam­pling er­ror for all re­spon­dents is plus or mi­nus four per­cent­age points.

The sur­vey was paid for by the Black Youth Pro­ject at the Univer­sity of Chicago, us­ing grants from the John D. and Cather­ine T. MacArthur Foun­da­tion and the Ford Foun­da­tion.

Re­spon­dents were first se­lected ran­domly us­ing ad­dress-based sam­pling meth­ods, and later in­ter­viewed on­line or by phone.

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