Commentary: Biden Losing Support of Young Men Due to Border Crisis

Illegal Immigrants
by Manzanita Miller


The latest Harvard Youth Poll reveals President Joe Biden has lost significant ground with voters under thirty compared to four years ago, with a 20-point decline among young men. While young Americans give Biden low marks on foreign policy and economic issues including inflation, housing, and the job market, immigration is a leading factor in young people’s departure from Democrats.

Biden currently leads Trump by thirteen percentage points (50 percent to 37 percent) among registered voters under thirty in the Harvard Youth Poll, a slightly higher margin than he has led by in other recent polls that include young people as a subset.

Biden leads by just eight percentage points (45 percent to 37 percent) with 16 percent undecided among Americans under thirty with no screen for voter registration. Among those classified as likely voters, Biden’s lead rises to nineteen points (56 percent to 37 percent).

These numbers are significantly lower than Biden’s lead in the Harvard Youth Poll conducted in the spring of 2020 when Biden led Trump by 23 points among young people in general (51 percent to 28 percent) and by 30 points (60 percent to 30 percent) among young likely voters.

The poll shows much of this decline in support for Joe Biden is concentrated among young men. Biden went from a 26-point lead among men under thirty in 2020 to a mere six-point lead in the current poll. Young women’s support for Biden has remained fairly stable, with Biden sitting at a 35-point lead among young women in 2020 and with a comfortable 33-point lead today.

Young men also identify as Democrats at a significantly lower rate now than they did in the 2020 election, with the share of young men identifying as Democrat and Republican nearly equal today. Just 32 percent of men under thirty identify as Democrats, down from 42 percent in 2020, a ten-point decline. Over the same period, the share of young men identifying as Republican has increased nine percentage points from 20 percent in 2020 to 29 percent today. Among young women, Democrats gained six points.

According to the poll, young men shifting away from Democrats may have less to do with an objection to entitlement programs and government intervention, and more to do with a distrust of Democrats’ handling of issues like immigration.

While the press release for the poll mentions the gender gap, it states that, “while party ID and self-identified ideology show younger men shifting from Democrat to Republican and from liberal to conservative — their views on the role of government have not changed as dramatically.” The press release goes on to indicate that a majority of young men still support government attempts to reduce poverty and subsidized healthcare.

Young men’s economic views may not have shifted significantly on certain entitlement programs, but they have shifted on a metric that may be more important to the average 20-something than it was in previous years – immigration.

Over half of young men (51 percent) say immigration is a more important issue to them than all others. The poll asked, “thinking about the major issues facing the United States today, please tell me which of the following two is more important to you: Immigration vs. All others”, and over half of young men said immigration was the most important.

Young men also say by a margin of 37 percent to ten percent that immigration has made the U.S. economy worse as well. Interestingly, young women agree by a smaller margin, saying 31 percent to nine percent that immigration has worsened the economy.

Majorities of all racial groups among young voters say that immigration is making the economy worse, with young whites saying so by a margin of 41 percent to 7 percent. Young Hispanics say so by a margin of 26 percent to 13 percent, and young Blacks say so by a margin of 24 percent to 7 percent.

This is far from the first time we have seen young people rejecting the left’s Open Borders agenda, in fact a recent Economist/YouGov poll showed young people disapprove of Biden’s handling of immigration by a 33-point margin.

Democrats are losing double-digits with young voters – especially young men – and while polling young people on their views on entitlement programs may not explain the loss, polling on immigration does. Biden’s border disaster has created strong pushback from young Americans, and young men say the border is more important than a slew of other prominent issues leading into November.

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Manzanita Miller is an associate analyst at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.
Photo “Illegal Immigrants” by John Modlin.





Reprinted with permission from

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