A new poll finds New Jersey voters under the age of 30 are more progressive than older voters but they are not more likely to register as Democrats.

Dan Cassino, the executive director of the Fairleigh Dickinson University poll said the survey finds when it comes to younger Garden State residents, “even young Republicans say things like climate change is an existential threat, or women should have a right to abortion under any circumstance.”

He noted the poll of 1,678 young adults also finds that Donald Trump "is particularly disliked." About 19% of voters under 30 voted for him in 2020 while 22% of young Republicans say they voted for Biden.

Warning signs

Cassino pointed out that looking to the future, there are some warning signs for Democrats.

He said they have only a narrow edge among white voters ages 18 to 30 (43% Democratic, 37% Republican), and “their support among other racial and ethnic groups is far from monolithic," with 63% of African American youth, 56% of young Asian Americans and 53% of young Hispanics identifying as Democrats.

“We’ve seen challenges for Democrats nationwide among non-white groups,” said Cassino. “Democrats cannot afford to take non-white voters, especially non-white men, for granted in elections.”

pretty disgusted girl on a white background
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They both stink

Cassino said the poll finds many younger voters don’t trust either political party.

“They’re skeptical not just of parties but really of all the institutions of government and institutions of the economy, they’ve grown up in an era of really unprecedented disruption.”

He said 78% agree that “the current political parties are too corrupt and ineffective to actually get anything done,” with 42% “strongly” agreeing. This view goes across party lines: the figure is 78% among Democrats, and 76% among Republicans.

He said this extends even to their view of democracy as an institution, with 56% agreeing that “democracy is still the best way to run a government,” though Republicans are less likely to embrace that message than Democrats. Only 58% of Republicans agree, compared with 75% of Democrats. Independents are the most skeptical: only 36% agree.

SIphotography Thinkstock
SIphotography Thinkstock

A wakeup call?

“The fact that support for democracy as a concept is this low should be a wakeup call for everyone,” said Cassino. “Young people don’t feel like they’ve seen democracy work, and that’s led to the very basis of our system become politicized.”

“Young people in New Jersey are rejecting abortion bans, and for Republicans, the challenge is distancing themselves from extreme views in their own party if that want to have a chance with under 30s.”

About the poll

The survey was conducted between Dec. 1 and 4, using a multi-stream non-probability online stratified sample collected by CINT, a global software company in digital insights gathering. Respondents were solicited to be part of the survey via online ads or membership in existing online panels

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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