A Harvard University poll published Wednesday found that young voters (ages 18-29) would prefer a Democratic president in 2016. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is that the margin is significantly less than what you might expect.
According to the poll, 55 percent of young people would favor a Democratic president, compared to 40 percent who said they would prefer a Republican. That’s a pretty wide margin, but it’s significantly less than the margin by which Barack Obama won young voters in 2008 (66 percent to 32 percent). It also appears to suggest a trend—that young voters might be less inclined to support Democrats than they have been in recent years.
Obama’s support among young voters fell in 2012. He won 60 percent of the 18-29-year-old age group, while Mitt Romney performed slightly better than John McCain, winning 36 percent. The Harvard poll is just a poll, obviously, but it may reflect an understandable decline in enthusiasm among young voters for a party whose only declared presidential nominees (Hillary Clinton, 67, and Bernie Sanders, 73) are old enough to be their grandparents.