Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Data: College Reaction/Axios Poll; Note: 3.3% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Six in 10 college students say they'll shame friends who can vote but don't — and four in 10 plan to engage in protests if President Trump wins reelection, a new College Reaction survey for Axios finds.

Why it matters: These measures of intensity bolster findings from several recent surveys that suggest the election may draw higher than normal turnout from young voters, boosting Joe Biden's prospects — and fueling mass demonstrations if Trump prevails.

  • Just 3% of the students surveyed said they would protest if Joe Biden were elected.
  • "Political expression is etched into this generation's DNA," College Reaction founder Cyrus Beschloss told Axios. "Vote-hooky won't just draw side-eye, it could bruise a student's reputation in some social circles. Civic engagement is cool now."

The big picture: Millennials and Generation Z voters make up more than one third of the U.S. electorate. They're racially and ethnically diverse and overwhelmingly progressive.

  • Democrats have long struggled to get younger Americans to show up at the polls. But this year, there are signs they could vote at levels not seen since Barack Obama's 2008 election.
  • A Harvard Kennedy School survey released last month found that 63% of 18-to-29 year olds said they'll "definitely" vote this year, 16 percentage points higher than 2016.
  • More than 1 million 18-29 year olds have already cast ballots this year, more than four times as many as at the same point in 2016, according to the Democratic data firm TargetSmart.

The latest: The coronavirus has triggered a surge in early voting.

  • Older people are voting early at higher rates than young people, but more than 229,000 first-time voters under 30 have already cast ballots, up from 87,000 at this point in 2016.
  • And TargetSmart CEO Tom Bonier tells Axios that because young voters are considered less vulnerable to the virus, many may turn out in person on election day.

Methodology: The poll was conducted Oct. 6-7, 2020, from a representative sample of 875 college students. The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points. College Reaction’s polling is conducted using a demographically representative panel of college students from around the country. The surveys are administered digitally.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Oct 29, 2020 - Science

Pandemic scrambles Americans' acceptance of science

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic is throwing a wrench into Americans' understanding of science, which has big implications for climate change.

Driving the news: Recent focus groups in battleground states suggest some voters are more skeptical of scientists in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, while surveys reveal the persistence of a deep partisan divide.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.

Kamala Harris, the new left's insider

Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Joe Buglewicz/Getty Images     

Progressive leaders see Sen. Kamala Harris, if she's elected vice president, as their conduit to a post-Biden Democratic Party where the power will be in younger, more diverse and more liberal hands.

  • Why it matters: The party's rising left sees Harris as the best hope for penetrating Joe Biden's older, largely white inner circle.

If Biden wins, Harris will become the first woman, first Black American and first Indian American to serve as a U.S. vice president — and would instantly be seen as the first in line for the presidency should Biden decide against seeking a second term.