Poll: Racial feelings dictated youth vote
Young whites went for Trump
Among the youngest white adult Americans, feelings of racial and economic vulnerability appear to be closely connected to their support for Donald Trump in last month’s election.
That’s according to an analysis of a new Gen Forward poll of Americans between the ages of 18 and 30. Other surveys of white adults of all ages have found a similar pattern.
Among young people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds, feelings toward President Obama and about the way the government is working were related to support for Mr. Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
The pre-election survey data come from a Gen Forward poll conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
The survey is designed to highlight how race and ethnicity shape the opinions of a new generation.
Things to know about young voters in the 2016 election:
The Gen Forward polls showed that even the youngest voters were deeply divided along racial and ethnic lines in this year’s election.
Large majorities of young black, Hispanic and Asian-American likely voters in the surveys said they planned to vote for Mrs. Clinton, compared with less than half of young white likely voters who said the same.
Among young white adults, more than half of those with a college degree supported Mrs. Clinton, compared with less than 4-in-10 without such a degree.
The surveys suggest that support for Mr. Trump among young white likely voters increased in the weeks immediately before the election. Exit polls conducted for the AP and television networks by Edison Research show that young whites ultimately were slightly more likely to support Mr. Trump than Mrs. Clinton.
Among young whites, the survey suggests that feelings of racial and economic vulnerability and racial resentment appear to have played a role in support for Mr. Trump.
In particular, among young whites who scored highest on a scale measuring “white vulnerability,” or feelings that whites are losing socially and economically in today’s society, more than half said they planned to support Mr. Trump, compared to only about 6 percent of those scoring lowest on the scale.
The analysis shows Mr. Trump performed well among young whites who felt that gender discrimination is not a problem in society. Likewise, young whites and young Latinos who felt that blacks need to work their way up in society without special favors and haven’t been significantly held back by racial discrimination were more likely to vote for Mr. Trump.
Both of those attitudes were closely linked with feelings of racial vulnerability among young whites, and those feelings of vulnerability had the strongest relationship with choosing to vote for Mr. Trump when all three attitudes were analyzed together.
Political alienation and equality
The surveys show that feelings about the political system were linked to vote choices among young people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Young Asian Americans and Latinos were less likely to support Mrs. Clinton if they had feelings of political alienation, such as that leaders in government are looking out primarily for themselves and don’t care about people like them.
Young whites and African Americans who felt that American society and government were moving toward greater political equality were more likely to support Mrs. Clinton.
Whites, blacks, Latinos and Asian Americans were all more likely to support Mrs. Clinton if they had warmer feelings toward Mr. Obama.
The analysis is based on two polls of young adults age 18-30 conducted Oct. 1-14 and Oct. 20-Nov. 3. Both used samples of about 1,800 people drawn from the probability based Gen Forward panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. young adult population. The margins of sampling error for all respondents are plus-or-minus 3.8 percentage points and plusor - minus 3.7 percentage points, respectively.
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.