Poll: Racial feel­ings dic­tated youth vote

Young whites went for Trump

The Washington Times Daily - - NATION - BY EMILY SWANSON

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.

White vul­ner­a­bil­ity

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.

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