Teens Have Political Fatigue – And So Do I

A recent thought leadership piece from Fuse (teen/young adult marketing agency), stopped me in my tracks. If true, it suggests not only that teens are worn out by politics but they are also more likely to identify as Independents or Republicans than Democrats.

This runs counter to everything I’ve previously believed about young voters

According to Fuse’s survey, GenZ (i.e., 13-17-year-olds), are exhausted by politics:

  • A majority expressed disinterest in politics
  • Nearly one-third said they don’t plan to vote in the future.
  • Teens that do plan to be involved in politics are more likely to identify as Independents (25%) versus Republicans (21%) or Democrats (20%).
  • But 34% plan to be apolitical, i.e., not voting or being involved in politics in any way.
  • Beyond expressing frustration with political rants and posts on social media, no reason was given for their apathy to politics, e.g., are the candidates not stumping on relevant issues? Are they too out-of-touch? It’s a mystery that I’m hoping Fuse will clarify for us.

I will keep track of this development as we head into the 2020 elections (although teens will not be voting in these elections in any large numbers).

I admit I am nonplussed by these findings. However, Fuse has always supplied reliable research.

Their findings, however, are given extra credence by recent comments made by Barack Obama and BET founder Bob Johnson. Both have lately been cautioning Democrats about straying too far left. Johnson, in particular, has recently flat-out stated that 2020 Democrats don’t stand a chance against Trump because they are not centrist enough for African American voters. And Johnson, for those of you not familiar with him, is America’s first black billionaire. It seems that the leftist shift of the party and its day-in/day-out demonizing of anyone who has become wealthy and successful through business might not be sitting as well with the full-range of Democrats as the left-wing of the party led by Warren and Sanders have assumed.

Bottom Line.

IF these results are true, it spells trouble for Democrats who are convinced they’ve got young voters in the bag.

On top of that, based on conversations with Democratic friends (who are of voting age), I’m picking up mostly dissatisfaction with the leading candidates. I would not be surprised if many voters end up sitting out the election (as important as it is) because they simply cannot stomach the party choices.

Link to Fuse report here. (It’s the fourth topic in the deck.)

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