New Survey: Young Americans See Trump As ‘Illegitimate’ President And Are Taking Action

If Donald Trump’s future were up to young Americans, it would be pretty bleak. According to a new GenForward survey, most people age 18-30 don’t see his presidency as legitimate — and that’s just the beginning of their negative feelings.

There are differences across racial lines. The percentages that see Trump as illegitimate are:

  • African Americans, 74%
  • Asian Americans, 60%
  • Latino, 71%
  • Whites, 47%

Of course, it’s becoming obvious that minorities have the most to lose under the current administration. But, lest anyone read too much into the figure for whites, take a look at young Americans’ disapproval ratings of Trump’s performance as president:

  • African Americans, 71%
  • Asian Americans,69%
  • Latino, 72%
  • Whites, 55%

The survey questioned whether the vast disapproval was due to Trump’s ‘demeanor’ — how he presents himself — or his actual ‘policies’. So it asked, and found that, while ‘demeanor’ is rated worse than ‘policies,’ the latter didn’t fare much better. Here are the percentages of young Americans rating both as either ‘very bad’ or ‘somewhat bad’:

  • African Americans:    Policies, 73%           Demeanor, 76% 
  • Asian Americans:       Policies, 68%           Demeanor, 76% 
  • Latino:                            Policies, 65%           Demeanor, 74%
  • Whites:                           Policies, 58%           Demeanor, 67%

The administration would discount these figures at their own peril — which would be the typical response out of the White House. One of the most significant findings of the survey shows how opposition to Trump is mobilizing the young. A majority of those polled in every racial group participated in at least one political act during the first 50 days of the new presidency. According to the researchers:

Our findings also suggest that political activism in the early part of Trump’s presidency has been motivated by opposition to President Trump and his policies. For example, of those who contacted a public official, many more did so in opposition to President Trump rather than in support of Trump … even for whites, the majority of contacts (62%) has been in opposition to Trump.

The issues that our youth care about are also the issues that Trump is going after most aggressively. Young Americans no doubt see vanishing prospects for a prosperous future. Education is among the top three issues across racial lines. Health care and racism rank in the top three concerns for 3 out of 4 of the groups.

Our youth had a lot more to say in the survey. Their negativity extends to Mike Pence, to those White House advisers with whom Trump surrounds himself, and to Congress, as well. For a full look at what they have to say, click here to see the survey.

Feature photo of young voters, Louisville Youth Against Trump on Facebook.

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Deborah Montesano

Deborah Montesano is a longtime political activist and blogger. She learned to fight against impossible odds by living for years in Arizona, but recently relocated to the more progressive-friendly city of Portland, Oregon. Find her on Facebook at facebook.com/thepoliticali/ or on Twitter @thepoliticali_1.

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