The July 2016 results from the GenForward Survey have some important findings: young people, especially young people of color, prefer Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. Clinton has a sizable advantage with all young people over Trump, polling at 35% to 19% in a poll that also includes third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein.

Still, when asked, all young adults perceive Clinton as only slightly less trustworthy than Donald Trump, with 73% of young people in the sample rating Clinton as untrustworthy and 78% rating Trump as untrustworthy. Clinton beats Trump in qualifications to be president and trustworthiness ratings among youth of color, while white respondents view Trump as more trustworthy and Clinton as more qualified. Young white respondents are also most likely to believe Clinton broke the law in using a private email server as Secretary of State, at 54%.

The GenForward Survey is a monthly panel survey of nearly 1,940 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 July 9- July 20, 2016 and asked their opinions on a range of issues, including the 2016 election, LGBT rights, the two major parties, the criminal justice system and police violence, terrorism and gun violence.  

Young voter preferences were broken down by race, with young African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino/as all strongly preferring Clinton in a general election match up. Young white voters are relatively divided between Clinton and Trump, with 27% preferring Trump and 25% preferring Clinton.

[RELATED: Young People Disagree on the Issue of Racism]

Five Important Facts from the July GenForward Survey

In this survey, the top three issues that mattered to black youth were racism, police brutality, and gun control. Asian American and Latino/a respondents agreed that racism was the top problem as well. Around 90% of African American youth believe police killings of black people is a serious problem, along with 76% of Latino/as, 67% of Asian Americans and around 48% of white respondents. Over two-thirds of black youth report that they or someone they know has been a victim of police harassment.


Gun control also ranked as an most important issue to young voters, with 76% of Asian Americans believing gun control is more important than gun rights, as do 60% of Latino/a voters and 63% of African Americans. Around 53% of young white voters preferred to protect gun rights than advocate for gun control.

Terrorism and homeland security were the most important issue to young white respondents, with around 30% selecting this as one of the top three most important issues facing the United States, followed by education and the national debt. Young people of color agree somewhat, with 22% of Latino/as, 20% of Asian Americans, and 12% of African Americans also ranking terrorism and homeland security as a top three issue.

While most youth reject Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration to the United States (76% of African Americans, 68% of Whites, 79% of Asians, and 66% of Latino/as), nearly half of each racial category still agree that sacrificing freedoms may be necessary to prevent terrorism, with 45% of African Americans, 60% of Asian Americans, 54% of Latino/as, and 56% of white respondents willing to “sometimes” sacrifice rights and freedoms for security.  

Finally, this survey also documented an increase in young people’s support for LGBT issues from 2014 to 2016, including high favorability across races for LGBT people to be able to adopt children and to have equal employment rights. These favorability ratings have especially increased among young white respondents, from 69% support for adoption rights in 2014 to 84% support in 2016, as well as from 84% support for employment rights in 2014 to 92% support in 2016.

Photo Credits: ABC News Go Video Still, GenForward Infographic