Heading into the 2020 general election, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump among young voters by a huge margin. In new Harvard polling, among all young Americans from the ages of 18 through 29, Biden leads by a full 23 percent, and among likely voters, the leading margin spikes even higher, to a full 30 percent. (That number, it’s worth noting, is almost the exact same leading margin that Bernie Sanders held among the same group in a one-on-one match-up with Trump.) These numbers, of course, suggest that high turnout in November could sink Trump — and prior to the Coronavirus outbreak, turnout in the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries was already surging over 2016 levels dramatically.
Gov. Cuomo: "New York puts in more money into the federal pot than it takes out. His state takes out more than it puts in. Sen. McConnell, who's getting bailed out here? It's your state that is living on the money that we generate. Your state is getting bailed out. Not my state."
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 23, 2020
In the new Harvard polling numbers, among likely voters, Biden nabbed a full 60 percent of the support compared to just 30 percent who went for Trump. A substantial but comparatively low level of 10 percent of voters said that they were undecided.
New IPSOS swing state general election polls:
Michigan: Biden 46%, Trump 38%
Pennsylvania: Biden 46%, Trump 40%
Wisconsin: Biden 43%, Trump 40%
— Emma Kinery (@EmmaKinery) April 23, 2020
Among that group and voters more broadly, Trump’s struggles to get a handle on the Coronavirus outbreak could be sinking his candidacy even further — Harvard reports that “concern about the Coronavirus and health care, replaced the economy and environment (Fall 2019), as the issues of most significant national concern when young Americans were asked in an open-ended question.”
Broadly, more Americans tend to disapprove of Trump’s Coronavirus response than approve of it. Currently, RealClearPolitics reports that an average of 50.1 percent of Americans say that they disapprove of Trump’s Coronavirus handling, and an average of 47.3 percent of Americans say that they approve of it. Trump, of course, has repeatedly congratulated himself for a supposed job well done, even while over 2,000 Americans die from the Coronavirus day after day, but Americans — including those covered by the new Harvard polling — remain worried.
John Della Volpe, Director of Polling for the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School, commented:
‘Well before COVID-19 struck, we knew this to be a generation anxious about their future. The pandemic brought these anxieties into focus. In the survey, we found that stress related to debt, the cost of housing, access to health care, mental health resources, and concern about whether or not loved ones will survive Coronavirus are the prism from which young Americans will view and engage in this campaign. Self-defense, in 2020, is one of the primary motivations for voting.’
That sense of self-defense is reflected in young voters’ increasing opposition to Trump. Broadly, among voters overall, Trump continues to lose when pitted against Biden in polls measuring their prospective general election match-up. Biden leads Trump by an average of 5.9 percent nationally, according to RealClearPolitics, and he has led in the averages for the entire time that the outlet has been cataloging polling.
Campaigning in general has been lagging lately amidst the social distancing demands imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic — although Trump has been seeming to treat the daily press conferences about the virus at the White House like miniature campaign rallies. He has repeatedly spoken highly of the television ratings of those press conferences, even as Americans continue to die.