Exit polls show Democrats lost seven points with Zoomers between 2018 and 2022 and the GOP gained five in an important shift.
Tuesday night’s blowout victory in Florida for Governor Ron DeSantis relied heavily on high Hispanic support and a victory in populous Miami-Dade County, but young voters played a key role in his victory too.
A record-breaking 49% of voters under thirty supported DeSantis according to exit polls, signaling a significant shift away from Democrats. Sen. Marco Rubio and multiple GOP House candidates also increased their share of the youth vote on Tuesday, contributing to Florida’s Red Wave.
GOP support from under-thirties was up nine points in Florida between 2018 and 2022 according to an AP VoteCast survey. Democrats’ share of their vote fell 14 percentage points over the same period.
While the mainstream media would like to pretend Florida was an anomaly, Republicans made gains with young people nationwide, if exit polls are to be believed. CNN exit polls show Democrats won 63% of under thirties on Tuesday while the GOP won 35%. However, four years ago Democrats won under thirties 67% to 32%, indicating a 4-point shift away from the Democrat Party for under thirties.
When breaking out the under thirty voting block into Zoomers (eighteen to twenty-four) and young Millennials (twenty-five to twenty-nine) the shift is more evident. Democrats lost seven-points with Zoomers between 2018 and 2022.
Exit polls show Democrats won 61% of eighteen to twenty-four-year-olds Tuesday, down from 68% in 2018. The GOP gained five points, going from 31% in 2018 to 36% Tuesday. The remaining Democrat losses may have gone third party. This is something that should not be ignored. Despite a relentless campaign by mainstream institutions to villainize the right, young people have started to trickle away from Democrats.
This trend for a growing share of ultra-young voters to lean right and support GOP candidates is something Market Research Foundation has been leading research on for over four years.
We were one of the first and only research groups to point out in the 2018 midterms that very young voters in states like Florida, Georgia, Texas and Indiana voted GOP at higher rates than older peers. In several races, including in the Florida Governor’s race, Zoomers voted GOP at the highest rates of any age group under forty.
In several races, including in the Florida Governor’s race, Zoomers voted GOP at the highest rates of any age group under forty.
Our 2018 study of 1,500 members of Gen Z who were in middle school, high school and college at the time found unwavering support for an America First agenda, non-interventionist foreign policy, and the rule of law, particularly on the border.
Many of these young people are now eligible to vote, and while a substantial number of Zoomers supported Democrats this election, we are continuing to see a theme of the youngest eligible voters favoring Republican candidates at higher rates.
Nationally, 36% of voters aged eighteen to twenty-four supported GOP House candidates on Tuesday, compared to 33% of slightly older voters between twenty-five and twenty-nine. For the under twenty-five age cohort, this represented a five-point shift toward the GOP from 2018 to 2022.
In the Wisconsin Senate Race this year, Ron Johnson won re-election with support from 36% of eighteen- to twenty-four-year-olds, compared to just 24% of twenty-four to twenty-nine year-olds. While this is by no means a blow-out victory for Johnson, it represents a 12-point difference between who very young voters and slightly older voters supported on Tuesday and begs further research.
Four years ago in Wisconsin, voters in the eighteen to twenty-four-year-old age cohort supported GOP candidate Scott Walker by six-points more than 25 to 29-year-olds did.
In Florida this year, while DeSantis performed well with young people overall compared to past years, his strongest support came from the eighteen to twenty-four-year-old age group. As shown below, Zoomers supported DeSantis by 3-points more than twenty-five to twenty-nine year-olds. Compared to 2018, eighteen to twenty-four-year-olds supported DeSantis four points higher on Tuesday.
In the Michigan Governor’s race, young people voted overwhelmingly Democrat, but voters in the eighteen to twenty-four-year-old cohort supported GOP candidate Tudor Dixon by five-points more than twenty-five to twenty-nine-year-olds did. In fact, Zoomers supported GOP newcomer Tudor Dixon at the highest rate of any age group under forty.
Zoomers supported GOP newcomer Tudor Dixon at the highest rate of any age group under forty.
Further analysis of more West Coast and Mountain state exit polls will lend more data to the rightward shift among very young voters, but it is a trend we are not seeing diminish.
The fact that very young voters are more favorable toward the GOP than slightly older age groups could stem from a number of reasons. Market Research Foundation has found Gen Z opposes globalism, opposes foreign military intervention, and wants to put America First, and the current Democratic Party is on the opposing side on each of these issues. We’ve also found young people are skeptical of the college industrial complex, and those who forgo a four-year degree for alternative routes are more likely to lean right.