It is fair to say that Joe Biden has not captured the imagination of young voters. He lost badly to Sanders among these voters in the primaries and, now that he is the presumptive nominee, still does not seem to arouse much enthusiasm.
But lack of enthusiasm does not mean they won’t vote for him. 538 analysis of 90 national polls in the last few months shows Biden with a 24 point lead among 18-29 year old voters. That’s close to what I’m seeing in the Democracy Fund + UCLA Nationscape survey (6,000 respondents a week). The 538 article notes that that margin is actually a little higher than what Clinton received among that group in the 2016 election, according to the Cooperative Congressional Election Survey (CCES) data. The current margin is actually a little smaller than Clinton’s when compared to the States of Change data. But in neither case is the difference between Biden’s current performance among young voters and Clinton’s support in 2016 more than a few points.
As I have been stressing the key difference between now and 2016 has very little to do with younger voters and everything to do with older voters. When enjoying a 20 point shift relative to Clinton among voters 65 and over, losing a point or two (or gaining it) among young voters just doesn’t matter that much. Holding that senior support on the other hand very much does. And that is what Democrats should be worrying about.
I will have more to say about this in coming days.