Democratic support among young voters decreased during the 2022 midterm elections compared to 2020, showing possible warning signs for the party among a voting bloc that has been crucial to the party’s success in recent years.
Just over half (53%) of voters under 30 voted in favor of Democratic House candidates in the 2022 midterm elections compared to 41% who voted for Republican candidates, according to a national survey from the Associated Press. Although the survey showed strong numbers for Democrats, it comes in below the 61% support the party saw during the 2020 election.
The most recent numbers show an 11-point drop from 2018, when 64% of young voters backed Democrats compared to just 34% for the GOP, the survey found.
The latest trends come as Democrats managed a better-than-expected performance during the midterm elections, maintaining control of the Senate and losing only a slight majority in the House. However, the decrease in support among young people could spell trouble as the party seeks to defend the Senate and White House in 2024.
The drop in young voter support comes despite several pushes from Democrats to motivate that specific demographic in the midterm elections, including President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan that was released in August to provide relief for 43 million borrowers, forgiving up to $10,000 for those making under $125,000 annually and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients. Democratic candidates also sought to shore up support among young voters by focusing their campaigns on abortion rights, which became a top priority for young voters, according to the survey.
Support from young voters could come down to the candidates, with Biden, 80, indicating he’ll run for reelection and former President Donald Trump, 76, already launching his third White House bid.
The Associated Press poll surveyed about 115,00 registered voters between Oct. 31 and Nov. 8 with a margin of error of plus or minus 0.6 percentage points.