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Why Young Americans Flock to Trump While Seniors Rally Behind Biden

Daniel Kim Views  

美 세대별 정치 성향 뒤바뀌나…노년층은 바이든, 청년층은 트럼프 지지
Former U.S. President Donald Trump is seen leaving court in Manhattan, New York, on February 15th after appearing in connection to a hush-money scandal involving an adult film actress.

An analysis suggests a reversal in the generational support bases of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump in the upcoming U.S. presidential election in November. Traditionally, in U.S. presidential elections, the conservative older generation has preferred the Republican candidate, while the younger generation with a progressive inclination has tended to support the Democratic candidate. However, this trend appears to have flipped.

According to Politico on the 7th (local time), recent polls show that the elderly lean towards Joe Biden, while the youth favor Donald Trump, marking a change from the decades-long trend. A poll released on the 3rd by NPR and PBS showed that among the Millennial generation (ages 24-39, born in the early 1980s to mid-1990s) and Generation Z (ages 18-23, born in the late 1990s to early 2000s), Trump’s approval rating was 2 percentage points higher than Biden’s.

In contrast, among voters aged 45 and above, Biden’s approval rating was generally higher. This age group includes the Silent Generation. Moreover, a New York Times (NYT) poll from the end of February showed that among voters aged 65 and above, Biden’s approval rating was 9 percentage points higher than Trump’s. Born in the late 1920s to early 1940s, the “Greatest Generation” was born before that. A Fox News poll released on the 27th of last month also showed that among voters under 30, Trump led Biden by 18 percentage points.

Furthermore, a New York Times (NYT) poll conducted at the end of February showed that Biden’s approval rating among voters aged 65 and over was 9 percentage points higher than Trump’s.

Not all polls show this apparent reversal of generational support, but the trend is discernible. A recent Wall Street Journal (WSJ) poll showed that among voters under 30, Biden’s support was 50%, 10 percentage points ahead of Trump, but this gap has narrowed compared to the 2020 election. The approval rating among the elderly was 48%, similar to that of the youth. A recent Quinnipiac University poll also showed a similar trend. Biden’s approval rating among those under 35 was 20 percentage points higher than Trump’s, and he also led by 8 percentage points among the traditionally Republican-supporting elderly over 65.

美 세대별 정치 성향 뒤바뀌나…노년층은 바이든, 청년층은 트럼프 지지
President Joe Biden will visit Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on March 13th and deliver a speech on community reconstruction and high-wage job creation.

Politico explains that if these figures indicate a reversal of generational support rates, it’s not a bad swap for Biden since the voting rate among the youth is much lower than among the elderly. In the 2020 election, the voting rate was 73% for those aged 65-54, 70% for those aged 75 and above, and only 48% for those under 25. However, recent polls show Biden and Trump in a close race, and considering that Trump is leading in most battleground states, the increase in elderly support may not necessarily be advantageous for Biden, Politico reported.

The accuracy of poll results reflecting public opinion has been questioned. For the youth, traditional survey methods like phone calls may not accurately capture trends, suggesting potential errors. John Della Volpe, Director of Polling at the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, said, “We know how to survey white, middle-aged people. But there’s no consensus on the best method for those younger or older, black or Hispanic.”

The reversal in support could reflect broader demographic changes beyond race, with white voters tending to be older than other racial groups, especially Latinos, Politico reported. Recent polls show Trump has gained support among black and Latino voters compared to the 2020 election, while Biden has won the support of white voters who leaned towards Trump four years ago. Politico noted that recent surveys “could reflect reality, or they could be the product of polling errors that will only become apparent after the election,” adding, “Such changes could also originate from age, class, race, or other group characteristics.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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