Poll: Clinton struggles to reach young voters

Emily Swanson
Associated Press

Washington — Hillary Clinton is having trouble attracting younger voters who enthusiastically backed Bernie Sanders during the Democratic presidential primary, according to a first-of-its-kind poll that pays special attention to the voices of young adults of color.

The new GenForward poll of adults ages 18 to 30 shows that a majority of the nation’s younger blacks and Asian-Americans have a favorable impression of Clinton, but the presumptive Democratic nominee struggles with whites and Hispanics.

Here’s a look at some of the findings from the survey conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Weakness among white and hispanic young voters: Just 26 percent of young whites and 49 percent of Hispanics have a positive opinion of the former secretary of state. Both groups overwhelmingly say she is not trustworthy.

The survey widely polled young adults, not necessarily registered or likely voters, but the findings suggest Clinton may struggle to turn out voters aged 18 to 30. While Clinton emerged victorious in her unexpectedly tough primary with Sanders, the contest revealed a stunning weakness with such young voters.

Lesser of two evils: While Clinton campaign officials acknowledge their candidate’s disconnect with young people, they see the prospect of a Trump presidency as perhaps the best way to motivate those voters in November.

Indeed, the GenForward poll found that Trump’s standing with young people is staggeringly negative. Just 19 percent of young voters have a favorable opinion of the businessman. Among minorities, a paltry 6 percent of African-Americans, 10 percent of Hispanics and 12 percent of Asian-Americans see him favorably. Trump performs strongest with young whites.

Reaching out to Sanders voters: Clinton has made moves in recent days to attract some of Sanders’ loyal young supporters, including unveiling a college affordability plan that would make in-state tuition free for families making $125,000 or less per year.

The poll of 1,965 adults age 18-30 was conducted June 14-27 using a sample drawn from the probability-based GenForward panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. young adult population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. Respondents were first selected randomly.