Poll: Biden support drops dramatically among young men

David Lauter, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden maintains a healthy lead over former President Trump among young Americans, but his margin has shrunk from four years ago, primarily because of a big drop in support from young men.

At this point in the 2020 campaign, Biden led Trump among young men by 26 points; now he leads by 6, according to the Harvard Youth Poll, a twice-a-year survey that provides one of the most definitive looks at the shifting views of U.S. residents younger than 30.

By contrast, the poll finds almost no change in Biden’s lead among young women — currently 33 points.

That difference reflects a widening gender gap among young Americans, one of the most striking findings of the poll. The survey was conducted a few weeks ago and released Thursday by the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

It comes at what may be an inflection point in the current campaign — Biden has erased the small lead that Trump has held for much of the last six months. Polling averages now show the race as essentially a dead heat.

Why this poll matters


The Harvard Youth Poll offers unique insights into young Americans, who have played a key role in politics at least since President Barack Obama’s election in 2008.

Its findings take on added significance this year because other surveys have offered widely disparate readings on how younger Americans view the presidential race and major issues.

Those polls have raised a lot of questions about where the youth vote is headed this year; the Harvard survey offers a big step toward solid answers.

Most of the data about the political views of young Americans come from surveys of the overall U.S. population. Those findings come wrapped in considerable doubt: Most polls of the general population interview only a small number of young people, and polling sub-samples often include odd quirks.


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