by Joshua Pinho
As Paul noted, Donald Trump has been surging in recent head-to-head polls between himself and Hillary Clinton. The latest ABC/Washington Post poll, which shows Trump leading Clinton by two points, indicates that Trump is closing the gap within a very interesting demographic: millennial voters, or in this case, voters 18-29 years of age.
Back in March, the last time this poll was conducted, Clinton was beating Trump 50 percent to 41 percent overall. In that same poll, Clinton was running the table with millennials, winning that demographic 64 percent to 25 percent. However, in the May edition of the poll released over the weekend, Trump now leads Clinton 46 percent to 44 percent, and perhaps even more interestingly, Trump is receiving 42 percent of the vote among voters 18-29 compared to Clinton’s 45 percent — a 36 point swing among millennial voters.
What is the impetus for Trump’s 17 percent gain among young voters? Are they disillusioned Bernie Sanders voters, supporting Trump to protest the DNC-backed Clinton machine? Or has Trump’s message begun to resonate with young voters who are fed up with politics-as-usual, many of whom supported Sanders for that very reason? Will Trump be able to bring young voters into the GOP fold?
It will be very interesting to see if this poll is an outlier or signals the start of a new trend, but for a candidate like Donald Trump, who doesn’t seem to adhere to conventional wisdom, either eventuality is a possibility.
Joshua Pinho is a Digital Communications Associate for the American Principles Project and can be followed on Twitter @Josh_Pinho.