There has been a dramatic shift in the rise of younger generational consumers registering to vote.
Since January 2022, the number of Gen Z and Millennials registered to vote increased by more than 10%. In a post Dobbs America, younger voters are more likely to vote for the Democratic Party candidate and more young Americans are likely to vote than in the past. This should have a significant impact on both the issues that shape the political discourse and the candidates that are ultimately elected. The study, Current State of Politics, was compiled from the opinions of 25,229 consumers surveyed from January 2022 to November 2022. Big Village conducted the CARAVAN study to assess consumer’s sentiment towards the 2022 election, what parties they are likely support, what issues matter to generations the most.
Overall, Americans are motivated to vote for candidates based on issues that have been dominating the political discourse for the past couple of years.
These topics are:
- Inflation (87%)
- Gun Control (83%)
- Immigration (79%)
- Public School Curriculum (78%)
- Roe vs Wade (75%)
- COVID-19 (72%)
- Student Loans (72%)
- If the candidate has been endorsed by Trump (58%).
These issues are defining for younger Americans. Victor, 16, who is currently too young to vote, but will be able to vote in the next Presidential election says, “It is important to address abortion rights, economy, gun control, healthcare crisis, immigration, environment, education to make a change for the positive in our world.”
Young Americans seem particularly attuned to how these issues have an impact on their generation’s future and motivate younger Americans to engage in elections and other political activity. Cassandra by Big Village hears first-hand from Gen Zs and Millennials through the Cassandra Collective, an exclusive online community that provides bespoke qualitative insights and an authentic glimpse into their passions and motivations as consumers.
Gen Z and Millennials with a liberal set of attitudes are here to stay as 34% of Gen Z and 29% of Millennials identified as liberals.
Young Americans, an increasing number of who are likely to vote, and who hold more liberal beliefs, are expected to change the shape of future elections.
“My top voting issues are women’s rights because they are human rights for women, help for low-income families and help for college students who come from low income for transitioning to adulthood” – Natasha, 23, MA.
Three-quarters of all consumers were impacted by the stance of Roe vs Wade and the future of women’s rights. The decision particularly resonates with members of Gen Z and Millennials who have never known life without Roe, and grew up viewing the case as set in stone. Now, members of these generations are coming of age with fewer rights than previous generations had before them, leading to more motivation for younger voters to participate and ensure their voice is being heard.
On a range of issues from student loan forgiveness, gun control, immigration, Donald Trump’s presidency, to the role of government, racial equality and climate change, the views of Gen Z closely mirror their Millennial counterparts. And the importance of these issues differs from generations such as Gen X and Baby Boomers. More than 60% of Gen Z and Millennials, admitted their voting was impacted when a candidate was endorsed by Donald Trump compared to 50% of Gen X and Baby Boomers. Voting participation for older generations such as Gen X and Baby Boomers were largely driven by issues such as gun control, immigration, and public-school teaching, where more than 80% of consumers indicated their vote was impacted on candidates addressing these issues.
Although one common ground that all generations have is that the current state of politics is moving in the wrong direction.
Approximately half of all consumers disapprove of the job President Biden is doing in office. More than 63% of consumers indicated they believe the country is on the wrong track. However, consumers are determined to make changes as more than 83% of consumers planned on voting before elections and 81% were already pre-registered for 2022 midterm elections.
What were the results?
In a recent CARAVAN survey conducted by Big Village, 44% of voters supported the Democratic Party vs the 35% of voters supporting the Republican party. 15% of consumers did not vote, while the remaining 6% was divided across third party candidates. In comparison to the actual election results, Republicans have taken control of the House of Representatives after they passed the threshold of 218 seats. Democrats have retained control of the Senate by gaining the state of Pennsylvania from the Republicans. The results of the 2023 election did not live up to the hype of a “red wave,” with the outcomes lining up with Big Village’s overall view of the sentiment of Americans. In anticipation of the 2024 Presidential race, the top 2 presidential candidates, consumers would like to see representing the Democratic party are #1. Joe Biden (27%), #2. Bernie Sanders at (21%) and on the Republican party consumers would like to see #1. Donald Trump (34%) and #2 New Candidate (22%). We will continue to track how Americans feel about the topics that matter to them the most, and how they view candidates’ abilities to address the big issues we face.
Written by Shahib Choudhury, Director, Insights at Big Village