In a surprising turn of events, President Biden’s popularity among young voters has taken a significant hit, even when pitted against his former rival, Donald Trump. The New York Times has sounded the alarm, cautioning Biden’s supporters about the implications of this deep unpopularity.
Various polls consistently show a neck-and-neck race between Biden and Trump among young voters, as highlighted by Nate Cohn, New York Times chief political analyst. The data suggests that the polls may not be as flawed as some believe. Instead, the problem is that many young Democrats simply do not favor Biden.
Cohn delves into the numbers, revealing Biden’s low approval rating within his party. Even among young voters registered as Democrats or who previously voted in a Democratic primary, Biden only holds a 76-20 lead. The disparity is even more significant among young, nonwhite Democrats, where Biden’s lead narrows to just 69-24. This dissent is not limited to specific demographics but exists among Democratic leaners, self-identified Democrats, and those who supported Biden in the 2020 election.
While this kind of intraparty disagreement is uncommon, it is not unprecedented. Cohn parallels past similar patterns in highly educated suburbs and the final polls leading up to the 2016 election. In the latter case, Trump surprisingly secured 30 percent of white working-class registered Democrats, highlighting the possibility of a Trump victory.
Explaining Biden’s weakness among young voters, Cohn identifies two key factors. Firstly, many young voters believe that Biden’s age hinders his effectiveness as president. They view him as being too old for the demands of the role. Secondly, there is considerable discontent among young voters regarding Biden’s handling of the Israel-Hamas conflict, further contributing to his unpopularity.
However, it is essential to note that Biden’s struggles with young voters extend beyond the 2024 presidential race. Even during the 2020 election, young voters did not display much enthusiasm for him. Additionally, Trump made significant gains among nonwhite voters, a demographic that skews younger, further complicating Biden’s standing.
As the 2024 presidential race looms, the New York Times’ analysis serves as a wake-up call for Biden and his supporters. It highlights the importance of addressing the concerns of young voters and finding ways to resonate with this crucial demographic. Failure to do so could have far-reaching consequences for Biden’s political future and the Democratic Party.