If there were a primary among 18 to 34 year olds right now, Democrat Hillary Clinton would be facing Republican Paul Ryan for the White House, according to a Fusion “Massive Millennial Poll” that surveyed 1,200 likely voters in that age group and also found fewer are ready to support Democrats than in the 2012 presidential election.
In this Monday, Sept. 3, 2012 file photo, supporters cheer for Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., while he speaks at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. (AP Photo/Sara D. Davis)
“Our sample was screened for the people who actually vote in midterms, which is a small percentage of the overall millennial population,” the Fusion press release said. “Just 23 percent of millennials are expected to cast a vote in the midterms, according to Harvard’s Institute of Politics.”
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the 2012 vice presidential candidate, got 16 percent of young voters, beating out former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 11 percent and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 9 percent. That’s perhaps somewhat surprising, given Paul’s libertarianism and his effort to court young voters. But clearly the Republican contest is pretty tightly contested in this age group.
Not so among Democrats, where former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wins 58 percent of the millennial vote. Vice President Joe Biden is a distant second at 13 percent and Elizabeth Warren is a fairly close third at 9 percent.
In the 2012 presidential election, the youth vote broke 67 percent for Obama, according to the International Business Times.
So, for the 2014 midterm elections, 47 percent support could seem disappointing. Still, Democrats has a decisive advantage over Republicans, which gets 32 percent of this age group. Undecided make up 21 percent.
Reason for hope among Republicans: Millennial voters identified the economy, debt and spending, and terrorism are the most important issues for them – all issues that traditionally favor the GOP.
But on several of the issues asked about, the young voters seemed to lean left on, as 56 percent oppose military weapons for police; 84 percent back marijuana legalization for medical reasons; 68 percent of millennial voters support gay marriage; 59 percent say gun ownership should come with “reasonable restrictions,” though just 9 percent supporting banning guns. Meanwhile, two-third of young white voters trust police officers to treat them fairly, while fewer than half of young black voters expect the same.
Young Independent voters are the most likely to smoke pot than young Republicans or Democrats.