Hillary and the Millennials

Interesting take in Vox that Hillary’s real problem is a lack of turnout enthusiasm (as opposed to third-party support) among non-white young people:

Clinton’s real millennial problem: depressed turnout from young black and Latino voters

But even if Rogowski’s numbers don’t suggest millennials are flocking to Stein and Johnson, they still have very troubling news for team Clinton about these young voters.

This is where the results dramatically diverge from the stories I and othershave published about Clinton and millennials. Many of them have suggested that largely white Bernie Sanders supporters account for Clinton’s apparent difficulties with young voters.

“Clinton is still having trouble winning the allegiance of the young, a disproportionate number of whom are backing either Stein or Libertarian Gary Johnson,” Harold Myerson wrote at the American Prospect on Thursday. “A hard core of young, white Bernie-or-Busters may yet believe that voting for Stein, or even Johnson, is an expression of their disdain for the system … it’s more clearly an expression of something quite different: their white skin privilege.”

Rogowski’s data challenges that conclusion. Because he broke down young voters’ preferences by race, Rogowski lets us examine what’s really causing Clinton to run somewhere between 15 and 30 points behind Obama among young voters.

And it’s pretty clearly not white young people defecting to Johnson and Stein. In fact, Clinton is actually doing nearly as well with young whites as Obama did in 2012 — Obama won 43 percent of young white voters against Mitt Romney, and Clinton is set to garner around 41 percent of them, according to Rogowski’s numbers.

You see a much steeper drop in support from Obama to Clinton among young black and Latino voters. In 2012, Obama won 91 percent of the young African-American vote, 88 percent of the Asian-American vote, and 74 percent of the Latino vote. By contrast, Clinton is now pulling just 74 percent of likely African-American voters, 71 percent of the Asian-American vote, and 64 percent of the Latino vote.

Pretty convincing.  That said, I’m nonetheless intrigued by the shifts in the latest Quinippiac survey:

So, the unenthusiastic minorities is certainly a real thing.  But I also suspect that it’s a real thing that a lot of younger voters’ flirtation with Johnson and Stein is wearing off.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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