by Zogby Strategies

For more on horse-race questions and favorability ratings, please see the Forbes/Zogby Strategies Exclusive here.


In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama received 66% and 61% respectively from the 18-29-year-old vote.  Hillary Clinton got 57% of a diminished turnout among this cohort in 2016.  As of today, John Zogby Strategies polling for Forbes Under 30, Joe Biden gets 54%, an actual decline of two points from our polling a month ago.  In the bigger picture, while Biden’s lead over Donald Trump is 20 points, these new numbers spell potential trouble for Biden.  Throw into the mix that 12% of this crucial demographic are still undecided.  Who will the undecided youth vote break towards – or will they not even bother to vote?

The Forbes Under 30 poll powered by Zogby Strategies will continue to track this vital trend – but in the meantime here is a glimpse at the heart and soul of this cohort through the lens of the hottest issues.


Trump vs. Biden on Authenticity and the Economy

  • Biden leads in this category, a very important bellwether for the Under 30 collective. Two in five (41%) say Biden is more authentic, while 32% say Trump is more authentic.  However, the key data point is that 19% say neither is authentic.
  • On which candidate cares about people like you and me – 45% say Biden cares vs. 27% who say Trump does.  Still, 19% believe neither candidate cares about them.
  • Who is more likely to put the US economy back on track to grow and prosper?  Here things tighten up a bit with 38% who say Biden and 35% who say, Trump, while  15% say neither.
  • Who is more likely to better lead amidst the COVID-19 pandemic?  There are no predictable knee-jerk reactions. These numbers are all over the place: 45% say Biden while 29% say Trump, and 17% believe neither.
  • Who is likely to provide more stimulus money?  40% report Biden and 35% say, Trump.


Is Trump Part of the D.C. Establishment or Fighting the D.C. Establishment?

  • A critical question that sheds light on how people view the President and the state of politics today – a tiny plurality (39%) says Trump is fighting the D.C. establishment, whereas 37% believe he is a part of it, 25% are not sure.


The ceiling for Federal Spending on Stimulus

  • A plurality (37%) believe that there should be a ceiling or limit to federal spending on stimulus.  One-fifth (20%) say there should be a reduction, and another one-fifth (20%) believe there shouldn’t be any limit.  Almost one quarter (23%) are not sure.


Support for Protests on Economic Shutdowns/Stay at Home Orders

  • Less than one-quarter (23%) support the protests vs. 62% that believe these protests are dangerous.
  • Respondents were given two opposing statements regarding the protests – statement A represents “play it safe…stay at home to stop the spread…” 57% of respondents agree with “playing it safe”.  On the other hand, statement B – “many are on the brink…open up the economy” – 33% agree.
  • Yet, when asked if their state should reopen the economy – a plurality (44%) says no, whereas 38% say yes, 7% say their state doesn’t have such measures, and 11% are not sure.


Seeing the light at the End of the Tunnel

  • A strong majority (62%) see the light at the end of the tunnel regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic/Crisis, while 26% don’t.
  • We asked if respondents have been forced to alter plans for their future as a result of the pandemic – 71% say yes, and 22% say no.
  • A strong indicator of suffering – 20% tell us they have had to go 24 hours or more without food due to a lack of money.  74% report no.
  • One-third (33%) report having lost a job as a result of the pandemic, while 59% still have a job.


Preference for Leadership in Dealing with COVID-19

  • Just shy of a majority prefer Joe Biden (49%), and 34% prefer Donald Trump


Capitalism vs. Socialism

  • Socialism has a 47% favorable rating vs. 36% unfavorable score
  • (we asked this question two months ago, and the numbers showed 43% were favorable while 39% were unfavorable).
  • Capitalism has a 46% favorable rating vs. 37% unfavorable rating.
  • Two months ago, the numbers revealed 50% were favorable, whereas 33% were unfavorable.
  • When we pressed 18-29-year-old likely voters which system they’d prefer the US to mainly be – 41% say mainly Capitalist and 33% say mainly Socialist.
  • Two months ago, we reported a plurality (40%) said “mainly capitalist,” and 34% said “mainly socialist.”
  • Finally, which do 18-29 -year-olds believe is more likely to boost their future prosperity – 39% say Socialism and 37% say Capitalism.


Final Analysis

In the final analysis, this group very much tends Democrat and will offer majority support to all of the Democratic candidates we tested (real and hypothetical).  However, they are split on whether Trump is a part of the D.C. establishment or fighting against it, as well as divided over which economic model is better for the future- capitalism vs. socialism.  Through the eyes of the youth vote, the future of the United States is a toss-up, but hope springs eternal. This group has large percentages who do not trust or believe in anyone, as well as plenty who favor more radical approaches. Their turnout is not assured and their role is pivotal. While America waits at the crossroads, eventually the COVID-19 crisis is likely to push America one way.  Which direction that is will likely be determined in November.

For the complete methodology statement, click here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment