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Youth support for the Democratic Party wavers

The 2022 midterms saw an 11% decrease of Democratic support from voters under 30 compared the the 2018 elections.


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Although young people were instrumental in averting a disaster for Democrats in the midterms, their support for the party is declining. An AP VoteCast polling study revealed an 11% drop in votes from the under-30 demographic compared to the 2018 midterm elections. However, the Republican Party did not see a massive increase in support from this age group, but it maintained the steady growth it has seen since 2018.

According to the study, 53% of nationwide voters under 30 voted for Democratic candidates in the House of Representatives, compared to 41% who chose Republicans. While there is still a blue majority, it is a considerable decline compared to the margin of victory by President Joe Biden (61%) over Donald Trump (36%) in the 2020 election. The difference is even more noticeable looking back at the 2018 midterms, when 64% of voters between 18 and 29 years old chose Democrats in House elections, while only 34% supported the GOP.

Steady growth of youth support for the GOP

There is an 11-point difference between Democratic support in the past two midterm elections. The difference is eight points when compared to the most recent 2020 election. Youth support is absolutely essential for the Democratic Party. These numbers are especially concerning to Democrats, as the trend of the youth vote to the Republican Party is growing steadily: 34% in 2018, 36% in 2020 and 41% in 2022.

According to the AP VoteCast analysis, these results show that the Democratic Party faces a big challenge ahead. The Democrats' solution will depend in large part on the results of the 2024 elections. President Biden himself acknowledged after the election that the "historic" turnout of young voters was key to his party's ability to maintain its majority in the Senate and only narrowly concede the House of Representatives.

"Weakest partisan attachments"

Experts like University of Florida political science professor Michael McDonald insist that one of the keys to this trend is that "youngest people also have the weakest partisan attachments, so they can be more susceptible to partisan swings nationally." McDonald noted that, in reality, "there is no reason why Republicans can't rebound among younger people." The VoteCast poll reaffirms this theory, as only a quarter of Democratic supporters under 30 consider their party affiliation to be "extremely" or "very" important to their voting choice.

Additionally, McDonald believes that issues such as high inflation were decisive in the most recent vote, as they especially affect younger people, who have lower salaries and a lower capacity to increase their wages in the short term.

Older candidates

According to AP VoteCast, the Democratic Party must find a way to maintain, and even strengthen the coalition of young people, black voters, women, college-educated voters, urban voters and suburban voters that has propelled it in the years since Trump's 2016 victory. Notably, each of these individual blocs has noted a decline in Democratic support. Age may be another important factor in earning the youth vote in 2024. If Biden confirms he is running for re-election, he will be 82 years old on election day. Trump, who has already announced his campaign, will be 78.