There’s a lot of frenzy in the media lately about reality TV star-turned GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump and concerns over his ability to beat Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election. With the 2016 primaries getting more competitive as the field of candidates narrows, people are starting to wonder if Donald Trump has what it takes to triumph in the general election in November.
If a new USA Today poll is any indication, their worries about Donald Trump’s ability to effectively take on Hillary Clinton in a head-to-head competition might have some serious merit.
According to the poll, if the upcoming U.S. presidential race comes down to Hillary versus The Donald, the deciding factor could be the Millennial generation. Hillary Clinton has struggled to achieve support among the younger voting demographic, with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders holding onto a double-digit lead when it comes to young voters. However, as Sanders’ path to winning enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination becomes increasingly improbable, Clinton needs to find a way to get through the the Millennial generation in order to secure a November presidential victory.
Unfortunately for Donald Trump, the best way for her to secure the Millennial vote is through the rising young generation’s uniting opposition against the former reality TV star.
According to the poll, in a general election contest pitting Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump, Hillary would be backed by voters under 35 years of age by 52 percent to Trump’s 19 percent. The Millennial support for Hillary Clinton transcends demographics, with the poll indicating the split (in Hillary’s favor) would be two to one among whites, four to one among Hispanics, five to one among Asian Americans and 13 to one among African Americans.
Perhaps even more shockingly and of more detriment to the Republican presidential bid, nearly 25 percent of Republicans would vote for the Democrat’s presidential nominee if Donald Trump finds himself in a race against Hillary Clinton. Among Democrats, only seven percent would defect to the Republican ticket in the same scenario.
Effectively, a general election race against Donald Trump would all but eliminate the generation gap that Clinton’s struggled with among her supporters this election cycle.
According to some of the young people surveyed in the USA Today “One Nation” poll, the reason that they’d vote across party lines rather than vote for Donald Trump is incredibly simple.
“Trump would kind of make a mockery out of America. He’s kind of a jerk.”
The poll is the second in USA Today’s “One Nation” series of polls. The survey was conducted online by Ipsos between March 3 and March 10, and it polled 1,541 adults between the ages of 18 and 34.
While many Republican Millennials are willing to leave their party in the dust and vote Democrat in a hypothetical Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump general election, among Democrats, Bernie Sanders is currently blowing Hillary Clinton out of the water when it comes to Millennial support. Especially among young women, who support Sanders at a rate of 61 percent compared to 30 percent who support Clinton.
While Donald Trump continues to be the Republican primary front-runner, he has very little support among the younger generation.
When it comes to support (or lack thereof) among her own party, Hillary Clinton is much more widely accepted among Democrats than Donald Trump is among Republicans. According to the poll, twice as many Republicans would just “stay home” on election day in the event of a Clinton-Trump general election than Democrats. One in five Republicans (twenty percent) said in the poll that they would simply withhold their vote in a Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump race, compared to just one in 10 (ten percent) of Democrats.
Millennial voters are vital to presidential campaigns, and their power to sway an election is becoming more and more apparent. Barack Obama couldn’t have won the 2008 general election without them. According to 2008 exit polls, Obama beat John McCain among Millennials by a rate of 66 percent to 32 percent. Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has managed to incite that much excitement among younger voters this time around, that distinction goes to Democrat Bernie Sanders. However, at this point, Donald Trump’s support among the youngest voting demographic is even below what McCain was able to scrape together in 2008.
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