Poll: Younger voters more likely to identify as 'liberal' on economic and social issues

Younger voters are more likely than their older counterparts to identify as socially and economically liberal, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds.

Roughly four in 10 registered voters ages 18 to 34 years old identified as liberal on both social and economic issues in the survey released Wednesday.

Among younger voters, 41 percent said they identify as liberal on social issues and slightly more, 43 percent, said they identify as liberal on economic issues.

By contrast, voters 35 and older were more likely to identify as either moderate or conservative on both issues.

Previous Hill-HarrisX surveys found that younger voters are more likely to be receptive to progressive polices like "Medicare for All" and universal basic income

Now, criminal justice reform is at the forefront of policy demands, as millions of protestors – many of whom are millennials and Generation-Z – demonstrate against police brutality following the death of George Floyd.

"We can see right now with the protests going on young people care deeply about criminal justice reform, about defunding the police, about these social issues that are happening in our country right now," Roshni Nedungadi, Democratic pollster and partner at Hit Strategies, told Hill.TV.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenOvernight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Democrats hope Biden can flip Manchin and Sinema On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Democrats advance tax plan through hurdles MORE, who has struggled with support among younger voters, has stated his support for police reform but has opposed defunding police.

"Joe Biden is speaking out on these things and addressing them. I think he just needs to do a better job at addressing them in the context of young voters," Nedungadi said.

Research from Hit Strategies and the Alliance for Youth Action found 59 percent of younger voters cited "issues they care about" as the main reason they cast their ballots, compared to 39 percent who cited "liking the candidate."

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 961 registered voters between May 27-28. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points. 

Gabriela Schulte