The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Why some young people are sitting out the 2024 election

Clay Banks on


The 2024 election is slowly heating up, but polling shows that young voters may be cooling down on President Joe Biden. Looking at the reasons why, it’s clear that there’s deeper problems that may not be solved with the ballot box.

Incumbent President Joe Biden and former president Donald Trump are the two frontrunners for the second election season in a row. Recent polling suggests that Biden is losing support among young voters, a key demographic for Democrats, though it may be too soon to tell for sure.

There’s a general feeling that Biden wasn’t an effective president. He’s had several policy failures: not protecting against climate change, not codifying abortion rights, not granting universal student loan forgiveness, the rising cost of living, and his approach to the Israel-Hamas war.

Critics also point to his age and evidence that his mental state is declining. Biden denied this passionately, and others pointed out that Trump is only four years younger and has demonstrated some of the same slip-ups. But a poll from The New York Times and Siena College show that 61% of all voters think Biden is too old.

On the Republican end, Trump faces a host of legal battles. The Justice Department, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, members of Congress, former associates and more are either suing him, investigating him, charging him or have some other legal entanglement.

Many of them accused Trump and his associates of trying to overthrow the 2020 election results and/or inspiring the January 6th insurrection. Others accused him of financial crimes. The Justice Department is still investigating his handling of classified documents.

Despite all of this, Trump remains the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. He’s far ahead of his Republican opponents in the polls. If reelected, he’s promised a return to his hard right policies and “revenge” against his political enemies. This includes mass deportations, removing birthright citizenship, and more.

With these choices, it’s clear why some young people can’t tell who is supposed to be the “lesser” of these two evils.

Political science professor Dr. Joseph Weinberg believes that getting young people to the polls at all will be the real battle.
“It’s hard to get young people excited to turn out for a couple of 80-year-old guys running against each other,” he said.
He also added that one of the biggest issues will be the integrity of the democratic process itself.
“I think domestically, we’ve got to sort out sort of what the rules are and if we’re gonna keep this constitutional setup that we have or if we’re gonna go sort of flip-flopping between ‘That’s a real result,’ ‘That’s not a real result,’…” he said, referring to the concern some experts have that people will question this election’s legitimacy like they did in 2020.

Freshman Olivia Sider showed disillusionment with the political process altogether.
“I think it’s all about money,” she stated. “I think they try to act like they care about people and they don’t. I think it’s about stomping over whoever to get what they want. I don’t think Biden or Trump cares about people.”

No matter who wins in November, the nation has a long way to go towards healing its democracy.

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