Can Trump Add First Time Millennial and Gen Z Voters Too?

Last week, Market Research Foundation analyzed the significant impact Non-college Whites could have this November if President Trump continues to add new voters to the rolls. An often-neglected segment when discussing low-propensity and non-college voters is young people: first time voters, college students, and disenchanted Millennials living at home with parents represent millions of potential voters – many of whom lean conservative and mistrust the Democrat Party.

Millennials Living-At-Home Lean Right

According to the Pew Research Center, a record 26.6 million 18-to-29-year-olds are now living with their parents, the highest number since the Great Depression. While the coronavirus and ensuing economic downturn is no doubt contributing to this, the number of young adults living with parents has been crawling upward since the early 2000’s.

The share of young Whites forced to return home to live with their parents since March is growing significantly, and Pew estimates Whites accounted for about two-thirds (68%) of the increase in young adults living with their parents.

Prior to the 2016 Presidential election, Market Research Foundation and Norman Analytics and Research conducted two online focus groups among Millennial segments in Virginia, and found that many Millennials blame government for neglecting Americans, shipping jobs overseas, and wasting time and resources in foreign meddling. A sizable portion of Millennials living at home with their parents into adulthood are also much more likely to favor Trump.

  • Thirty-four percent of the living-at-home Millennial segment said they supported Trump compared to just 21% who supported Clinton and 38% who were undecided. Among the Living Independent segment, support was nearly even with Clinton (27%), Trump (24%) and undecided (33%). What is more:
  • Sixty-three percent of Millennials agreed the Government needs to take action to bring jobs back to the United States – a central theme of Trump’s Presidency so far.
  • Fifty-three percent of Millennials agreed if the government spent as much time dealing with economic problems at home as it does on the problems of foreign nations, our economy would be much better off. This is another issue where Trump has focused a significant amount of his Presidency.
  • Fifty-two percent of Millennials said political parties are less important now, and that they would vote for someone from the “other side” if that person represented their values.

The share of young people today who identify as liberal has plummeted a remarkable 41% since 2008 according to Harvard Youth Poll data, while the share of young moderates has more than doubled over the same time period. Just 27% of today’s 18 to 29-year-olds now consider themselves liberal. Meanwhile, the share of young people who consider themselves moderate has more than doubled, from 19% in 2008 to 45% in 2019. Adding new White Millennials to the voter rolls represents an immense opportunity for the GOP.

Generation Z, young College-Avoidant Whites Lean Right

Approximately 24 million Generation Zers between 18 and 24 will be eligible to vote this year, and Market Research Foundation’s nationwide survey shows many young Americans hold conservative views and support President Trump’s America First philosophy.

  • 58% of Generation Zers say it doesn’t matter if illegal immigrants cause problems; if they came here illegally, they need to leave or go through the proper procedures to stay.
  • Among young New Englanders, a full 70% say it doesn’t matter if illegal immigrants cause problems; if they came here illegally, they need to leave or go through the proper procedures to stay.
  • Young whites are the most likely to say illegal immigrants should be deported if they do not go through legal procedures to stay, with 68% agreeing, versus 52% of young Blacks and 38% of young Hispanics.
  • 73% of Generation Zers support an “America First” philosophy, where the primary goal of any law or policy must be to focus on the needs of Americans, even if they are not in line with the interests of foreign nations and allies.
  • President Trump’s approval rate among Generation Zers from New England is 37% higher than in the Pacific states, and Obama’s disapproval rate in New England is the second highest in nation.

MRF analysis also shows that young White men from Mountain and Central states are the most likely to say they intend to skip college in favor of another career path, and are much more skeptical of the mainstream media and the Democrat Party.

Regionally, young people from predominantly White mountain states including Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming as well as Central states like Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin have the lowest desire to attend college, while those from South and Pacific regions have the highest desire.

Favorable views of the Democratic Party decline steeply with the low-desire to attend college group. Fifty-four percent of the high-desire group approves of the Democratic Party, but that drops to 37% in the low-desire group.

Negative views of the Democratic Party rise with the low-desire to attend group as well. Thirty-six percent of the low-desire group disapprove of the Democratic Party, versus 27% of the high-desire group.

Politically, a low desire to go to college is most common among young Whites, and Generation Zers who identify as Republican or Independent. Among young Republicans, 9% have a low desire to attend college, while among Independents 7% have a low desire to attend college, and among Democrats 5% have a low desire to go to college, as shown below.gen z low desire to go to colle

Younger Americans, particularly young Whites living at home with parents, and young college-avoidant White males from Mountain and Central states, represent millions of new potential first-time voters. These voters are not lost on the Trump campaign either. The Trump campaign has been blanketing young Americans with digital ads at twice the rate of the Biden campaign, and for good reason.