- Young people in the U.S. are growing more pessimistic about the political system — specifically the older, white candidates and officials who have a lock on power, according to a new poll.
- A new survey by MTV and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that over half of young people ages 15 to 34 are doubtful that Americans of different ideological and political viewpoints can unite and work through divisive issues.
- In a year where a swell of young Democratic candidates in the midterm elections could potentially remake a generational divide in the party, the survey results show younger bipartisan voters are pessimistic but that nearly half are likely to turn out in the midterms.
Young people in the U.S. are growing more pessimistic about the political system — specifically the older, white candidates and officials who have a lock on power, according to a new poll.
A new survey by MTV and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that over half of young people ages 15 to 34 are doubtful that Americans of different ideological and political viewpoints can unite and work through divisive issues. Only 10 percent had a positive perspective toward American politics in the past month, and 70 percent called the current political climate dysfunctional.
A swell of young Democratic candidates running in battleground districts in this year's midterm elections could remake a generational divide. The survey found that while younger voters are pessimistic about the outcome, nearly half say they're likely to turn out in November.
Older, white political candidates generated the least amount of excitement among young people, the poll found. With less than 100 days before the midterm election, less than a quarter of respondents said they're confident that they have enough information about the candidates to make an informed decision at the ballot box.
While the survey found that most young people have a bleak outlook on politics, a majority said they're optimistic that the current partisan climate will inspire their generation to take action.
For instance, the survey notes that 62 percent of young people believe that their generation is motivated to make a positive change in the U.S. More than three-quarters, including majorities of both Republicans and Democrats, are hopeful that the midterm elections will bring about change and will give them a voice in how the government works.
The survey also found that both young Democrats and Republicans believe a fresh set of leaders will do a better job than politicians who currently hold office. Overall, 79 percent say leaders from their generation would do a better job of governing than the prior generation.
But there are considerable partisan divisions in the survey answers. For instance, 73 percent of Democrats say their generation is motivated to make political changes, compared with 54 percent of Republicans. And 62 percent of Democrats said they believe people face barriers to voting in the midterm elections, while only 40 percent of Republicans agree.
Young voters are also more emotionally engaged in the upcoming elections. Over half of Democrats and 35 percent of Republicans say that President Donald Trump's victory in 2016 boosted their interest in the midterms. Among young people who will be eligible to vote in November, 45 percent say they are likely to vote.
The poll was conducted from June 21-July 9, 2018, with 1,030 young people ages 15 to 34 nationwide and an overall margin of sampling error of +/- 4.3 percentage points.