Q&A – Do Young Voters Trust The US Government?

Writing note showing Gen Z Millennials Gen X Boomers. Business photo showcasing Generational differences Old Young people Marker over notebook crumpled papers pages several tries mistakes.

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Today’s entry: You’ve reported younger voters are the least approving of Biden. As you’ve stated this doesn’t automatically make them conservatives but may make them persuadable. One of the biggest obstacles in winning over hearts and minds, in my view, has been an ever-increasing reliance on the government over the years. Is there any evidence that it’s not just Biden that younger voters are unhappy with, but the government generally?

Bottom Line: Yes, there’s information that shows this is bigger than Biden. First, let's take a real-time look at what President Biden’s approval rating is with voters 18-34 as its illustrative of the broader points. The survey says, 27%. In Florida, that number is ever so slightly higher at 29%. So clearly, the youngest voters still aren’t picking up what Joe Biden’s putting down. It’s become so bad for him there’s literally not a single demographic breakout with voters 18-34 where Biden has positive approval.

So, this is where your question picks up. Morning Consult maintains a weekly dashboard across a host of categories. Under “institutions”, you’ll see how each generation feels about segments of our society. One of the categories surveyed is specifically “trust of the US Government”. What percentage of Gen Z currently approves of the US Government? Only 36%. That’s eight points lower than Millennials and the lowest approval of any generation. That’s a clear break from the prior generation and is only slightly higher than the percentage that currently approves of President Biden.

Incidentally, the generation with the 2nd lowest trust of the US government? My generation, the Gen Xers, happens to be the most conservative politically on this side of the Silent Generation. Now, Gen Z is generally the most skeptical generation when it comes to trusting any number of institutions, however, here are the institutions they trust at a higher percentage than the federal government. The military, healthcare system, police, American companies, the criminal justice system, and Wall Street.

The only institutions they trust less than the federal government includes religious leaders, Congress (when broken out separately from the federal government), Silicon Valley, Corporate America (when broken out separately from American companies), and Hollywood – which is trusted the least of any institution.

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.

Email: brianmudd@iheartmedia.com

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