Are young voters vital to Biden’s campaign?

According to AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of the electorate, in 2020, 61% of voters under the age of 30 and 55% of those between the ages of 30 and 44 supported Biden. This age group is one that Republicans are hoping to gain support from. Former President Donald Trump, who is currently the front-runner in the GOP presidential primary and is only slightly younger than Biden, stated, “We are targeting the young person’s market like never before.”

Kevin Munoz, a spokesperson for Biden’s campaign, referred to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement and argued that “young people are deeply affected by the issues at the forefront of this election, driven by the extreme MAGA agenda.” He mentioned issues such as climate change, gun violence, and student debt. Munoz stated that they will engage with younger Americans and channel their energy into action.

However, questions about age still persist when it comes to both Biden and Trump. Terrance Woodbury, co-founder & CEO of the Democratic polling firm HIT Strategies, explained that young voters feel frustrated and exhausted with the idea of a rematch between the two candidates. Woodbury added that the problem lies in the system’s ability to keep reproducing the same candidates, which many find untenable.

A poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in April found that only 25% of Democrats under the age of 45 said they would definitely support Biden in a general election, compared to 56% of older Democrats. However, a majority of Democrats across age groups said they would probably support him as the party’s nominee.

Biden’s campaign is heavily relying on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to mobilize young voters. The DNC hired campus organizers in key battleground states during the 2020 midterms and offered weekly youth coordinating meetings to encourage engagement. The DNC sees young people as crucial voters to reach in 2024 and plans to make significant investments to mobilize them.

On the other hand, the Republican National Committee is attempting to use Biden’s age against him by sharing online videos of him appearing frail or making verbal gaffes. However, supporters like Rodriguez dismiss these attacks, stating that people can create hit pieces and memes all they want.

A notable contrast can be seen between the president and rising Democrats like Ro Khanna and Pete Buttigieg, who are significantly younger than Biden. Both Khanna and Buttigieg have backed Biden’s reelection and believe that age should not be the determining factor for a candidate’s ability to do the job effectively.

Other young Democrats, including Maxwell Frost, a 26-year-old Florida Democratic Representative, and Maryland Governor Wes Moore, 44, have also shown their support for Biden. New York Representative Alexandra Ocasio Cortez, 33, recently endorsed Biden as well.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson, a progressive who attributes his victory in a runoff election to a strong turnout among young voters, believes that Biden’s policies go beyond his age. Johnson highlights the president’s work on climate justice, which he believes speaks to not only the current generation but also future generations.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, acknowledges that even Biden’s supporters understand the demanding nature of the presidency.

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