AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

New Harvard Youth Poll Is Out. Here’s What It Shows for Biden, Trump.

With the 2024 election now less than a year away, a new Harvard survey shows a precipitous decline in enthusiasm among young voters since the Fall of 2019. 

Compared to the same point in the 2020 election cycle, the number of 18-to-29-year-old Americans who “definitely” plan to vote decreased from 57 percent to 49 percent, the Institute of Politics’ survey at Harvard Kennedy School found.

Estimates of turnout for this age group from the 2020 election range from about 52 percent to 54 percent.   

Among party affiliation, larger declines were seen from Republican (56 percent compared to 66 percent in Fall 2019) and Independent/unaffiliated voters (31 percent compared to 41 percent in Fall 2019). There was only a 2-percent drop among Democratic voters.

Looking at demographic groups, dips in voting intention were more pronounced among young black Americans (38 percent compared to 50 percent in Fall 2019) and Hispanic Americans (40 percent compared to 56 percent in Fall 2019), with young white Americans seeing a 5-point drop to 57 percent from from 62 percent.

The same survey showed President Biden leading former President Trump in a hypothetical matchup among adults under 30 who are registered to vote, 48 percent to 33 percent. Nine percent said they are unsure and 10 percent said they will not vote. 

A majority of the young voters (69 percent) who support Biden over Trump said they’re doing so in “opposition to Donald Trump” getting another term as opposed to “support for President Biden and his policies.” 

Not surprisingly, then, support for Biden dips when third-party candidates are factored in.

  • Among all young Americans, Biden leads by four points in a hypothetical matchup with three independent candidates: Biden 29%, Trump 25%, Kennedy 10%, West 3%, Manchin 2%, Don’t know 31%
  • Among registered voters under 30, Biden leads by eight points: Biden 34%, Trump 26%, Kennedy 11%, West 3%, Manchin 2%, Don’t know 24%.
  • Among likely voters, Biden’s lead is 16 points: Biden 43%, Trump 27%, Kennedy 10%, West 3%, Manchin 2%, Don’t know 15%. (IOP)

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