• Polling

Survey of 2022 Midterm Voters: Young Voters in the Midterm Elections

Thursday, December 8, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

What We Did: 2022 Midterm Voters Survey

The slides in this presentation are based on interviews with 5,013 registered voters who had already voted or planned to vote in the November election, with interviews conducted November 1st through November 14th . Support for Democratic candidates and Republican candidates in elections for Governor, Senate, and the House of Representatives have been adjusted to reflect the actual expected results as of November 14th . The analysis aims to provide a new tool for Americans to understand what happened in the 2022 election, why it happened…and what’s next.

Key takeaways

  • Younger voters favored Democrats in this election at higher rates than the country overall, particularly younger women, and reported higher levels of political and civic engagement.
  • Younger generations were overwhelmingly focused on the issue of abortion, while older voters were focused on issues like inflation, crime, and immigration.
  • Voters across generations had frustrations with their personal finances and the national economy.

Younger Voters Broke for Democrats in the Midterms, While Older Voters Leaned Toward Republicans

There was a significant gender gap among younger voters, with women under 30 significantly more likely to support Democratic candidates than younger men

Younger Voters Were Less Likely to Talk About Politics But More Likely to Volunteer or Attend Political Events

Nearly half of Gen Z voters (46%) reported that they had volunteered or attended a political event, compared to 23% of Millennials and fewer than one in six Gen Xers (15%), Baby Boomers (11%), and Silent Generation voters (14%).

Abortion Was a Top Issue for Gen Z Voters & Young Women; Inflation, SS/Medicare Were Priorities for Older Voters

For women under 30 and Gen Z voters, abortion was their top issue (52% and 40%, respectively), while men under 30 prioritized jobs and the economy (40%) and inflation (36%). There was also a significant age gap on health care, with younger voters more likely to cite the issue.

  • Voters in the Silent Generation (40%) and Baby Boomers (33%) were particularly likely to prioritize Social Security and Medicare.

Young Voters Cited Abortion, Climate, Taxing the Wealthy, and Gun Reform as Top Reasons to Support Democrats

Older voters were significantly more likely to also cite Social Security and Medicare as top reasons to vote for Democrats over Republicans.

Young Voters Who Voted for GOP Cited Lower Taxes as Main Reason, Older Voters Said Inflation, Crime, Immigration

Older Americans were more likely to cite crime, immigration, and inflation as top reasons to vote for Republicans over Democrats. Women 18-29 also cited parental rights in education (39%) as a top reason to vote for Republicans.

Priorities for Next Congress: Inflation a Top Priority for All, Abortion a Top Priority for Younger Voters

Inflation was the prevailing priority for men 18-29 years old, while abortion stood out more with women in that cohort.

Cross-Generational Economic Frustrations Were Not Limited to Older or Younger Americans

While economic unease was felt across the board, younger women ages 18-29 felt more uneasy about their personal financial situation (63% uneasy) than men ages 18-29 (51% uneasy).

Voters Universally Saw Costs of Everyday Goods Going Up, Though There Was Less Intensity Among Younger Americans

Nine in ten Boomers (90%) and members of the Silent Generation (93%) said the costs of groceries were going up significantly, compared to just over half (53%) of Gen Z voters.

While Many Across Age Groups Were Uneasy About the State of American Democracy, Younger Americans Most Confident

Younger men (+18 net confident) were significantly more confident in the state of American democracy than younger women (-6).

Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X Most Likely to See Student Loan Debt as a Reason to Vote For Democrats

Gen Z and Millennial voters with student loan debt were especially likely to see the issue as a reason to vote for Democrats (62% more of a reason to support Democrats/17% more of a reason to support Republicans).

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted an online survey of 5,013 registered voters from November 1-November 14, 2022, with respondents recruited from opt-in online panel vendors. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of the sample reflected that of the expected 2022 electorate in the House, Senate, and Governor’s races. The vote shares for Democrats and Republicans among self-reported 2022 voters were also adjusted to reflect a preliminary estimate of the actual results of the 2022 elections.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org