Since I have two daughters who are Millennials, I was particularly interested in a poll of 842 women between the ages of 18-35 conducted by YouGov for CBS News and Refinery29 earlier this month.

While it is no surprise that Millennials in general, and Millennials women in particular, are center-left this poll does have a few surprises. Also, younger voter turnout has always been low. As we head toward the midterm election, Millennial women seem particularly disengaged. What this means for the blue wave some are predicting remains to be seen.

They Don’t Like Trump or Republicans

Not surprisingly, 70 percent of women under the age of 35 are dissatisfied or angry with President Trump, and 58 percent say they can’t trust him.  As a result, 70 percent feel the country is headed in the wrong direction. 

53 percent believe his policies hurt women and 42 percent say their vote in the midterm elections will be one against Trump only 18 percent said it was for Trump. The remaining 40 percent said it was not about Trump.

Only 22 percent of respondents said they hope Republicans keeps control of Congress while 46 percent they hope Democrats win control. 32 percent say it does not matter either way.

Political Motivation and Voting

It’s questionable how many will participate in the November election.

Over the last year, 35 percent report that they are more motivated to get involved in politics. 27 percent say they are less motivated to get involved in politics. 38 percent report no change over the last year.

In fact, since 2016 only 18 percent volunteered or donated to a cause or candidate. Only 17 percent say they have attended a political rally. 31 percent say they posted on social media about their political views. Only 19 percent say they have contacted a member of Congress.

I’m not sure how that compares to the rest of the electorate, but it does not seem to indicate a surge in political activity among young women. 

Few are enthusiastic for the midterm elections. Only 44 percent said they were very enthusiastic (17 percent) or somewhat enthusiastic (27 percent) about voting this November.  So the majority, 56 percent, are not too enthusiastic (31 percent) or not enthusiastic (25 percent) about voting.

Only 57 percent are registered to vote, of those who are not registered only 20 percent said they had plans to register to vote. Only 30 percent said they were definitely voting, and just 19 percent said they probably were going to vote in November.

52 percent say they believe voting in elections is the most effective thing to do to influence U.S. politics, but only 49 percent are what we consider likely voters. Of the 51 percent who are not likely 31 percent say they are not interested in politics or elections and 19 percent believe their vote does not matter.

Frankly, their breakdown of issues and priorities as they relate to voting later in their toplines is skewed since less than half of the respondents are likely to vote in November and they didn’t limit the questioning to just those respondents. I’m not going to bother highlighting those. Needless to say,  it tilts left.

They Have Trust Issues With The Media

They have trust issues with just everybody (they trust Congressional Democrats the most), but I found it interesting that they had trust issues with the news media.

Only seven percent said they trusted the media “almost always” which is the same number who said that about President Trump. They are one percentage point better than Congressional Democrats and Republicans of whom only six percent said the same.

Only 25 percent said they trust the news media “most of the time” which is better than President Trump (15 percent), Congressional Republicans (16 percent), but less than Congressional Democrats (32 percent). 

Only 42 percent said they trust the news media “some of the time” and 26 percent said they almost never trust the news media.

55 percent say they rely on the internet for their news with 32 percent say they rely on social media and 23 percent say they rely on news websites. Only 10 percent say they rely on newspapers with seven percent saying they are dependent on the radio. 18 percent say they rely on TV. Ten percent say they rely on talking to people.

So, think about this, 42 percent of Millennial women are only getting the news that people share on social media or what they discuss with others.

Abortion

Only 31 percent of women under the age of 35 want Roe v. Wade overturned. 69 percent say they don’t want the 1973 Supreme Court ruling overturned.

45 percent are concerned that abortion would be more restricted than before. 26 percent are worried that it would be restricted less (I don’t see how that is possible since we barely have any restrictions). 29 percent say they are not concerned either way.

CBS News in their reporting of the poll focused on the first two questions related to abortion:

Sixty-two percent of women under 35 think abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and a majority (69 percent) do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. More are concerned that access to abortion will become more restricted (45 percent) than less restricted (26 percent).  Older women view abortion similarly.

What they don’t report is that only 28 percent believe abortion should be legal in all cases. 34 percent say it should be legal in most cases. 25 percent say abortion should be illegal in most cases. 13 percent say it should be illegal in all cases. 

First, it’s clear that the majority does not want abortion on demand for any reason. So 72 percent of Millennial women want some restrictions on abortion. 

Second, before pro-lifers go and do a happy dance as I have seen in various instances, that number can be spun the other way, and it looks terrible. 87 percent of Millennial women support at least some access to abortion. 

The question is for those 34 percent who believe it should be legal in most cases, where are the lines? This poll does not tell us. 

In regards to the question about Roe v. Wade, how many Millennials even know what Roe is? I would suspect not many. I would love to see polling that includes an accurate description of what overturning it would do: send the debate to the state level. The fact is if Roe v. Wade is overturned all that will do is give state legislatures the ability to decide. A plurality of Americans would rather see their state legislatures deciding that.

Other Findings of Interest

  • 54 percent say they do not consider themselves to be a feminist.
  • Only 50 percent believe the #MeToo movement will make things better for women.
  • 70 percent believe their individual rights and liberties are being threatened. 
  • Only 22 percent would be more likely to vote for a candidate who identifies as a socialist, 24 percent says they wouldn’t, 54 percent says it doesn’t matter.
  • 66 percent want greater restrictions on gun sales.
  • 74 percent believe health care is a right and all people deserve it whether they can afford it or not.
  • 67 percent say climate change is caused by human activity.
  • 38 percent consider themselves very liberal or somewhat liberal. 25 percent consider themselves moderate. 19 percent consider themselves somewhat conservative or very conservative. 18 percent are not sure.

Conclusion

Millennial women tilt to the ideological left, no one can deny that. But they do not appear very engaged which could cause a problem for Democrats in November. Also, this generation’s dependence on media provided by what mainly friends and family share makes me wonder how informed they are and may explain their views on particular issues.

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