New polling finds that Biden is losing the youth vote heading into 2024

A 2024 presidential election poll released by The New York Times and Siena College today has some troubling results: Donald Trump is now reportedly holding a lead over Joe Biden amongst young voters. 

The data, released this morning, found that 49% of 18 to 29-year-olds polled preferred the presumptive GOP nominee over Biden, who received support from 43%of that cohort. Biden’s loss of support amongst this age group is down 10 percentage points as compared to polling conducted this summer. 

But it’s unclear how many of those young responders will actually vote in the election: Biden beat Trump when looking at likely voters, whom 47% said they would vote for the incumbent as compared to 45% who supported Trump. 

“Usually, it’s not worth dwelling too much on a subsample from a single poll, but this basic story about young voters is present in nearly every major survey at this point,” the Times’ Nate Cohen explained

“Our own battleground state surveys in the fall showed something similar, with Mr. Biden ahead by a single point among those 18 to 29. Either figure is a big shift from Mr. Biden’s 21-point lead in our final poll before the midterms or his 10-point lead in our last national poll in July.” 

The polling also found that given the trends presented, Trump seemed to be winning a little over a fifth of young voters who supported Biden in 2020. 

Cohen speculated that this shift in support could be in large part caused by Generation Z’s outrage over Biden’s handling of the Israel-Palestine war. The president has been full-throated in his support of Israel’s campaign to eliminate Hamas rule in the Gaza Strip, despite an unprecedented amount of civilian casualties Additionally, his administration has overseen the distribution of billions in additional military aid to Israel. 

Meanwhile, less than 50% of Gen Z believe U.S. leaders should not voice public support for Israel, and some 51% of those under 35 maintained that the U.S. should not provide military assistance to the country — as compared to 77% of those over 50. Other polling by the Times found that overall 44% of voters wanted an Israeli ceasefire, while 39% approved of Israel’s conduct. 

Biden’s approach to the latest chapter in the Israeli-Palestine war also appears to have cut into concerns about the economy, which despite having rebounded from pandemic lows remains a major source of anxiety amongst voters. 

While “economic concerns remain paramount, with 34 percent of registered voters listing economic- or inflation-related concerns as the top issue facing the country. That’s down from 45 percent in October 2022, but still high,” the Times reported

Such topics appear to have overshadowed concerns about Trump’s heightened, xenophobic rhetoric. For example, at a recent rally in Durham, N.H., the former president said immigrants coming from Africa, Asia and South America were “poisoning the blood of our country." 

"All over the world they are pouring into our country," he added. 

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Jamie Larson