It’s no secret Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump isn’t particularly popular among young people.
Despite Trump’s thriving, if inscrutable, fan club on the social news site Reddit, the candidate’s base is primarily among older, white Americans. However, a McClatchy-Marist poll released this week reveals just how unpopular Trump is among millennials.
The survey, which was taken between Aug. 1 and Aug. 3, showed Trump polling at just 9 percent with voters between the ages of 18 and 29. This number puts him in fourth place—behind Democrat Hillary Clinton (41 percent), Libertarian Gary Johnson, and Green party candidate Dr. Jill Stein (16 percent).
Trump also trailed Johnson and Stein with African-Americans; however, among the electorate as a whole, Trump still maintains a second-place showing at 31 percent to Clinton’s 45.
At this point, it’s important to point out that no single poll should be held up as the gospel truth. The best way to get a clear picture of the state of the race is to look at an aggregation of a multitude of polls, like the ones maintained by Real Clear Politics or FiveThirtyEight, both of which show Clinton as the frontrunner.
However, the Republican nominee’s low level of support among young voters is well-documented, and it shows how the GOP largely abandoned many of the plans its leadership made four years ago for how to grow its electoral tent.
After former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney lost the presidential election to President Barack Obama in 2012, the Republican Party decided it was time to take stock. Over the course of the next year, a handful of party leaders composed a deeply self-critical and forward-looking report on the big-picture vision of what the GOP needed to do if it wanted to remain competitive on a national level.
The report, entitled the Growth & Opportunity Project, proffered a whole host of suggestions, from building out the party’s data operation to building a bridge to the Hispanic community through the passage of comprehensive immigration reform. Trump, however, has eschewed a campaign data operation—and just ask Florida Sen. Marco Rubio how that whole immigration reform thing turned out.
The report made similarly unfulfilled prescriptions on attracting the youth vote.
“The RNC must recognize that today’s young voters will be voters for the next 50-plus years,” the report reads. “For many of the youngest voters and new 2016 voters, their perception of the two parties was born during the Barack Obama era, and that perception will help determine their worldview moving forward. The Party is seen as old and detached from pop culture. The RNC needs to make immediate efforts to reverse this narrative.”
It added: “Young voters need to be attracted to the Republican Party by both the message and the candidate.”
The report put forth over a dozen suggestions on how to maintain the youth vote, which included working with college Republicans across the country. On a related note, the Harvard Republican Club refused this week to endorse Trump, the first time in 128 years that nation’s oldest collegiate Republican organization in the country has declined to back the GOP nominee.
“Donald Trump is a threat to the survival of the Republic. His authoritarian tendencies and flirtations with fascism are unparalleled in the history of our democracy,” club officers wrote in a Facebook post published online on Thursday. “He isn’t eschewing political correctness. He is eschewing basic human decency.”
H/T Judd Legum