The new October GenForward Survey of young voters finds that Democratic nominee for President Hillary Clinton has made major gains in the past month with young white voters, up from 27% last month to 35% in October, placing her in the lead over Trump (who is at 21%) with young whites. Even so, Trump supporters have dug in their heels: most people who supported Trump before the leaked Access Hollywood tapes still support him.
The GenForward Survey is a monthly panel survey of 1,832 young adults, aged 18-30, with an oversample of youth of color. This survey is conducted by The Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Respondents were surveyed from October 1st through October 14th, 2016.
The October survey finds that Clinton has made important gains among young whites, surpassing the 2012 Obama coalition, at 52% support. However, Clinton has less support than Obama amongst young voters of color. In 2012, Obama had 91% of African American youth support, 86% of Asian American youth, 74% of Latinx, and 44% of white youth support. Clinton trails the 2012 Obama coalition with youth of color, with 80% of African American youth support, 74% of Asian American support, and 63% Latinx support.
Thus, the report suggests that Clinton will not replicate the Obama coalition, since she will have more white support and less support from youth of color. Even so, she is poised win a similar share of the youth vote that Obama received in 2012 (60%).
In addition, the October GenForward survey finds little differences in vote support for Trump before and on October 7, when the Access Hollywood tapes were released, and on or after October 8th. In these tapes, Trump made denigrating comments about women, claiming that he was allowed to sexually assault them because he is “a star.” According to the survey, the differences between support for Trump and his favorability ratings before and after the tape are insignificant. This suggests that the Access Hollywood tapes had little impact on Millennial evaluations of Trump as a candidate.
Interestingly, however, many young Trump supporters appear to be affected by Trump’s name calling. Around 56% of young white Trump supporters are very likely to say that Trump’s comments calling Alicia Machado, a former Miss Universe, “Miss Piggy” make them much less likely to vote for him.
Finally, the report highlights the differences of opinion between Trump and Clinton supporters as a sign of political polarization. Clinton supporters are likely to agree with Clinton’s comments characterizing Trump supporters as a “basket of deplorables.” Around 90% of Clinton supporters across racial and ethnic groups agree that Trump supporters can be characterized as “deplorable” or “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, [and] Islamophobic.” Trump supporters are more likely to disagree and believe that these comments will hurt this Clinton’s campaign.
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