BOSTON (State House News Service) — Following two elections with historic turnout among young people, the Harvard Youth Poll is again predicting a "Gen Z wave" in the upcoming midterms.
"I don't know if we're going to see a red wave, I don't know if we're going to see a blue wave, but what I do know...is that we will see a Gen Z wave," said John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics.
The Harvard Youth Poll released its 44th study Thursday, a probability-based survey of Americans aged 18 to 29. Harvard students conducted the survey, and between Sept. 29 and Oct. 14 surveyed 2,123 respondents.
This year's findings show that Gen Z continues to come out to vote at higher numbers than Millennials, Gen Xers or Baby Boomers did when they were the Gen Zer's age.
In 2018 young people broke turnout records, galvanized by the Parkland school shooting and President Donald Trump, said Harvard Public Opinion Project student chair Alan Zhang. In 2020 young voters were moved by the murder of George Floyd, the COVID-19 pandemic and, again, President Trump. This year, the Harvard poll shows the fall of Roe v. Wade earlier this year is a major factor in getting young people to the ballot box.
Two in five young Republicans cited inflation as the most important issue driving their midterm vote; while Democrats are moved by abortion, with 20 percent listing it as the most important issue this election cycle, followed by inflation at 19 percent and climate change at 16 percent.
Likely voters surveyed preferred Democratic control of Congress, 57 percent to 31 percent, while 12 percent remain undecided.
Written by Sam Drysdale/SHNS