Updated Feb 26, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Biden is barely beating Trump among young voters

Illustration of a voting booth covered in stickers of X's, frowning faces and broken hearts.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Former President Trump appears to be closing in on President Biden's lead among young voters.

Why it matters: Gen Z and millennial voters were key to Biden's 2020 victory, turning out in huge numbers and favoring him by 20 points in 2020, per a Pew Research Center analysis.

By the numbers: Biden got 52% to Trump's 48% in a new Axios-Generation Lab survey of voters between the ages of 18 and 34.

  • 49% of 18- to 29-year-olds supported Trump, compared with 43% for Biden in a December New York Times/Siena College poll.

"We don't know enough yet," says Neil O'Brian, a political scientist at the University of Oregon. "But this idea that young people are gonna keep populating into the Democratic Party? There are some question marks around that."

Zoom in: As we've reported, many young voters are disillusioned with political process and the lack of choice and younger candidates.

  • "At this point, I'm tired of stressing about debts and cost of living, and I'm tired of being in a place where I feel like I need to move out of this country to make a change," says Jessica Gourdet, a 32-year-old restaurant owner in Vauxhall, New Jersey, who says she doesn't plan to cast a ballot this year.
  • "I just don't believe my vote would make a difference."

But many are still planning to go to the polls

  • "I'm incredibly disappointed by how old [the candidates] are," says David Place, a 25-year-old from Stratford, Connecticut, who's planning to vote for Trump. "I will say that Biden's age and the way it affects him is way more apparent to people than Trump's."
  • Alana Falls-Simison, a 23-year-old, in Dayton, Ohio, says she'll be supporting Trump due to his economic and immigration policies.
  • Rachel Domdera, a sophomore at Ohio State, who's voting for Biden, says, "I'm not necessarily excited for either candidate, but I know it's my civic duty to vote ... I like Biden's environmental policies more and his views on abortion."

Reality check: Biden has a narrow edge against Trump among all young voters surveyed in the Axios-Generation Lab poll, but his lead widens among the likeliest voters.

  • When considering just the 42% of respondents who said they definitely plan to vote in November, Biden has 59% support.
  • Methodology: This poll was conducted Feb. 3-14, 2024, via the web, from a representative sample of 1,073 18 to 34-year-olds nationwide. The margin of error is ± 3.0 percentage points.

Editor's note: This story was corrected to show the share of likely young voters who said they would support Joe Biden was 59% (not 63%), per updated and weighted data provided by the Generation Lab after publication.

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