Millennial voters who backed Bernie Sanders have mostly rallied to Hillary Clinton’s side in the 2016 election. That’s the main reason Donald Trump is hovering around near-historic lows among this key group of voters.
A USA Today/Rock the Vote survey finds that Clinton leads Trump 56-20% among voters under the age of 35. Trump’s poor showing with these voters is lower than Richard Nixon’s 32% among younger voters in the 1972 election.
If that lead holds through November, it could have long-term implications for both Republicans and Democrats.
If the trend continues, the Democratic Party will have scored double-digit victories among younger voters in three consecutive elections, the first time that has happened since such data became readily available in 1952. That could shape the political affiliations of the largest generation in American history for years to follow.
In 2008 and 2012, overwhelming support among voters under 30 was a crucial part of Barack Obama’s winning coalitions. But that doesn’t reflect long-held partisan preferences. The Gallup analysis shows that as recently as 2000 younger voters split evenly between Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush, and the GOP’s presidential candidates carried their support by double digits in 1984 and 1988.