A huge gender gap is emerging among young voters

A huge gender gap is emerging among young voters

Thomas B. Edsall writes:

It has become clear that one constituency — young voters, 18 to 29 years old — will play a key, if not pivotal, role in determining who will win the Biden-Trump rematch.

Four years ago, according to exit polls, voters in this age group kept Trump from winning re-election. They cast ballots decisively supporting Biden, 60 to 36, helping to give him a 4.46-point victory among all voters, 51.31 percent to 46.85 percent.

This year, Biden cannot count on winning Gen Z by such a large margin. There is substantial variance in poll data reported for the youth vote, but to take one example, the NBC News national survey from April found Trump leading 43 to 42.

Young voters’ loyalty to the Democratic Party has been frayed by two distinct factors: opposition to the intensity of the Israeli attack on Hamas in Gaza and frustration with an economy many see as stacked against them.

Equally important, a large gender gap has emerged, with young men far less likely to support Biden than young women.

Bill McInturff, a co-founder of the Republican polling firm Public Opinion Strategies — which conducts surveys for NBC along with the Democratic firm Hart Research — provided The Times with data covering a broad range of recent political and demographic trends.

Tracking the partisan identification and ideology of 18-to-34-year-olds, the McInturff analyses show that from 2012 to 2023, women became increasingly Democratic, going from 55 percent identifying as Democratic and 29 percent Republican in 2012 to 60 and 22 in 2023. The shift was even more striking in the case of ideology, going from 32 percent liberal and 29 percent conservative to 51 percent liberal and 17 percent conservative in 2023.

Among young men, the Democratic advantage in partisan identification fell from nine points in 2012 to five points in 2023. [Continue reading…]

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