Gen Z Voters Believe Trump Could Improve the Country, Despite Policy Differences, According to Recent Poll

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

It’s only February, but Donald Trump is already the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party. Despite Trump’s legal troubles, the race may be closer than expected thanks to a surprising demographic shift among voters who might normally be in the Democratic column.

Who’s Running Against Trump?

Former President Donald Trump had several opponents for the GOP nomination when the primary season started. These included Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and big pharma entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. Both men dropped out of the race after unimpressive showings in the early primaries.

Source: Wikimedia/Gage Skiedmore

That means the only serious contender left on the right is Nikki Haley. Haley was named by Trump to be the United States’ ambassador to the United Nations. That means she’s got some foreign policy credentials. She hasn’t come close to winning a primary but has said she won’t drop out.

Will Joe Biden’s Age Hurt Him In The General Election?

One of the biggest looming questions about President Joe Biden is his age. There are only a few years separating him and Donald Trump. But among voters, there’s a perception that Biden is frail in a way that Trump is not.

Source: Bonnie Cash

President Biden is 81 years old. He’ll turn 82 on November 20, just a few weeks after the presidential election. He is the oldest president ever to serve. Donald Trump was 74 when he left office, and Ronald Reagan was 77.

Has Age Impacted Joe Biden’s Ability To Lead?

The question of age is one that we expect will continue to follow both candidates until election day. While Trump may be a few years younger, he’s experienced his share of confusion and flubbed statements. Neither candidate is in their prime.

Source: X/SpeakerPelosi

For example, Trump has often confused foreign leaders with one another. He’s made a habit of mispronouncing Hamas as ‘hummus.’ Biden has been confused about where he is at times and has misspoken often, although that may be due to his stutter.

How Are Voters Feeling About Joe Biden’s Handling Of The War Between Israel And Palestine?

Another area where Biden is struggling is with voters’ opinion of his handling of the war between Israel and Hammas. There are a lot of young people who have been protesting on college campuses. They want a ceasefire and see Biden’s support of Israel as a problem.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

It’s not uncommon for young people to support the Democratic Party. They’re often the most liberal demographic. The student protests are only one example of the potential trouble Biden may be facing with the youngest bloc of voters in the upcoming election.

Young People And Climate Change

The final issue where there’s a divide between Joe Biden and young voters is climate change. While the Democratic Party is more supportive of green initiatives than the Republican Party, young voters may feel that Biden and the Democrats have not done enough.

Source: Flickr/Fabrice Florin

Young people have more to worry about when it comes to the planet’s shifting climates. They have a lot of years ahead of them. If temperatures continue to rise and storms continue to intensify, they’ll be the ones living with the consequences.

What Do The Polls Say About Who Young People Are Supporting?

Here’s where we get to the surprising part. A recent Harvard GAPS/Harris poll revealed that a majority of Gen Z voters think that Donald Trump would “shake up the country for the better” if he were elected in November.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The poll surveyed 2,022 registered voters on February 21st and 22nd. It revealed that respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 said they believed that Trump would improve things in the United States. Only 35% said they viewed him as “a danger to democracy.”

Why Would Gen Z Support Trump?

Trump’s far-right positions on issues including abortion rights, immigration, and student loan forgiveness are opposed to what most young people say they want. That makes it difficult to understand why they might have responded to the poll the way they did.

Source: Flickr/Gage Skidmore

One possible explanation is that young people are sick and tired of the way things are in the United States. They see the same old, almost exclusively white men leading things. Nothing ever seems to change for the better and that’s frustrating.

How Do Older Generations Feel About Trump?

In the same poll where Gen Z respondents reported their potential support for Trump, the same phenomenon repeated itself among other generations. Every age group but one, 56% of respondents said that Trump would shake up the country in a good way.

Source: Pexels/Steshka Willems

You might be wondering which age group was the outlier. Surprising, it was voters aged 65 or older who disagreed that Trump would bring positive change to the country. Older voters were almost evenly split in the 2020 election, giving a slight edge to Trump.

What Could Biden Do To Improve His Standing With Young Voters?

You might be wondering if there’s anything President Joe Biden can do to improve his standing with younger voters. There are a few obvious things that he could do to align himself with Gen Z voters but it’s unclear whether he’ll do so.

Source: Flickr/Phil Roeder

The biggest concerns for Gen Z voters appear to be student loan forgiveness, climate change, and the war between Israel and Hamas. It’s possible that a shift in Biden’s positions in these areas could make Gen Z more likely to vote for him.

Can Biden Win Without Gen Z?

Can Biden win reelection without support from Gen Z? It’s a tricky question. The Democratic Party has traditionally won more young voters than Republicans. There’s a lot of time between now and election day and a lot could happen before then.

Source: Pexels/Keira Burton

Some of the factors that may impact the outcome on election day include Donald Trump’s ongoing legal trouble. Many voters have suggested they won’t vote for him if he’s convicted on any one of the 91 criminal charges he is now facing.

How Will Gen Z Vote?

The final question is really how Gen Z will vote when election day arrives. The poll we’ve cited here said that 51% of Gen Z voters who responded to the survey said they planned to vote for the former president.

Source: Pexels/Keira Burton

Only 42% of respondents said they planned to vote to reelect President Joe Biden, and 7% remained undecided. Still a lot could change between now and then and we won’t know the results until all the votes have been counted.

When Will We See Younger Presidential Candidates?

Part of the problem this year is that a lot of voters are finding it difficult to get excited about two old candidates who may not be at their sharpest. It’s probable that Donald Trump will “shake things up” if he were to be elected again, but the “for the better” part is in question.

Source: Wikimedia Commons

One of the biggest concerns is that Trump has said he’ll be a dictator “on day one.” Younger voters may not understand the full implications of that statement and the havoc it could cause. Given the age of our two candidates this year, we have to hope that the next presidential election brings some new faces to the ballot.

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Aimee Partridge

Written by Aimee Partridge

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