Donald Trump’s poor standing among the female voters has attracted most of attention in the recent weeks, but his candidacy may be even more toxic to the voters who are under 35.
A new NBC News election tracking poll pitting the Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton against her 2 possible Republican rivals reveals that the young voters lean Democratic regardless of candidate, but they are practically allergic to Donald Trump.
Against Ted Cruz, the Texas Senator, Hillary Clinton wins the vote of 18 – 24-year-olds by 7 points. Against Donald Trump, her margin rises to 25 points. There is a parallel gap for the older millennials, ages 25 – 34, who give Hillary Clinton a 19-point edge against Ted Cruz and 33-point edge against Donald Trump.
While Ted Cruz also performs modestly better than Donald Trump among women, the difference is considerably more muted. Both the Republicans lose the female voters overwhelmingly to Hillary Clinton.
It is not entirely clear why Donald Trump fares so much worse than Ted Cruz among young voters, but there’re a few possible explanations.
Millennials as group may lean toward Hillary Clinton, but they are not particularly excited about her. According to the exit polls in the Democratic primaries, they have voted by the astonishing margins for her rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, who was not tested against Republican candidates in the poll.
Ted Cruz, who is Hillary Clinton’s junior by 23 years, has aggressively courted the young voters.
However, if the younger voters are not completely sold on Hillary Clinton, they are almost united in opposition to Donald Trump & that alone could seal Clinton’s victory among millennials.
Another explanation may be that the young voters simply do not know enough about Ted Cruz to feel same level of distaste for him that they do for Donald Trump. While the NBC question did not ask how familiar the voters were with each candidate, a recent Economist poll reveals that 18% of the Americans under 30 said they did not know how they felt about Ted Cruz, while just 4% said the same thing about Donald Trump.
However, if these numbers embrace, nominating a candidate who’s this unpalatable to the young voters could create a serious issue for GOP. The Research shows that the young voters who develop loyalty to 1 party often stick with it.
“The ages 14 – 24 are most formative years for political leanings, acc. To the hundreds of thousands of the survey responses…This idea is not so different from what marketers have learned: They often focus on making the pitches to young because older people have already developed brand loyalties,” wrote Toni Monkovic, from the Times.
“The problem for Republican brand is that a 3rd straight election in which the young vote decisively for Democrats — even if G.O.P. wins this Nov. — could imprint negative perceptions that last decades,” he added.