Students rallied en masse for Biden: here’s what they want in return
Joe Biden is now the 46th President of the United States – thanks in no small part to the support of young people.
Young voters turned out to vote in record numbers for the 2020 presidential election, making a difference in major battlefield states and leading Biden to a clear victory. According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), approximately 55 percent of young people aged 18 to 29 with the right to vote voted, compared to around 44% in 2016. And overall, the youth vote accounted for around 17% of all votes, up from 16% in 2016 – and 61% of them voted for Biden.
Now, as the new administration takes hold, the same young people who led the election results are making it clear what they expect in return. Yes President BidenJoe BidenDemocrats Pressed Panic Button After Virginia Collapse Manchin Says He Won’t Vote to Overt Senate MP Carville Blames “Stupid Wake Up” for Democrats’ Loss MORE wants to keep the younger generation of voters in his corner, he will have to be careful: taking their concerns seriously will be key to this administration’s tenure, the future of the Democratic Party and the United States.
According to a recent poll of more than 1,000 undergraduates currently enrolled in two- and four-year institutions across the country, students say the top priorities for the Biden administration in its first 100 days should be COVID-19 (86 percent) and economy / employment (52 percent). Climate change (35%) takes a back seat to the pandemic, although this is probably temporary, as this generation remains among the most virulent and active when it comes to the environment.
Students want the new administration to double the security of COVID-19. When it comes to tackling the spread of the virus, nearly 80% of students support a nationwide mask mandate and 65% support a nationwide stay-at-home order for a month. College Democrats are much more likely than College Republicans to support a mask mandate (95% vs. 35%) and a stay-at-home order (87% vs. 16%).
Canceling student loan debt is also a priority. About one in four students fully supports Biden’s plan to write off $ 10,000 in student loan debt for all borrowers. Almost a quarter support the plan but don’t think it goes far enough. Only 17 percent do not support the plan at all and 14 percent say they are not sure. There is more than one consensus when it comes to forgiving all overdue student debt, with 70 percent of students supporting this decision. Students of color, as well as students who receive financial aid, are more likely to support the plan than their peers.
There is broad support for the Green New Deal or similar environmentally focused employment plans. These efforts are supported at 80% and the ban on hydraulic fracturing is supported at 74%. Likewise, 84 percent of students are in favor of investing more money in public transport, such as a regional high-speed rail system, as a way to fight climate change. Almost 60 percent of Republican students support investing more money in public transportation, with 93 percent of Democratic students. The ban on hydraulic fracturing is much more divisive; only 13% of Republicans support it, compared to 96% of Democrats.
The Biden administration ignores the concerns of students and other young people at its peril.
As a candidate, Biden was not a favorite among college students. His lead among voters in that age group was due, in large part, not to their allegiance to Biden, but to their strong dislike of the former president. Donald trumpDonald Trump Democrats hit panic button after Virginia collapse Department of Defense and National Security calls for nearly four years for MMA veteran who struck officer Jan.6 MORE.
According to a “Students, voting and COVID-19 election”, According to a College Pulse report in partnership with the Knight Foundation last August, less than one in five students had a favorable opinion of Trump. While opinions of Biden were much more positive, just under half of the students said they had a favorable impression of him, and just as many said their opinions were negative. It is important to note that more than one in five students expressed a negative opinion of the two presidential candidates.
The same was true of their views on the Democratic Party. More than half of the students said they had a favorable opinion of the party, and about as many expressed a negative opinion.
At the same time, students are increasingly politically engaged, with research showing interest in student activism. at a record level. On 70 percent of students had a political disagreement with a friend or family members, and about a third wore clothes with political messages. A third of the students contacted an elected official and 22% made a donation to a political cause. One in five students participated in a demonstration, march or rally.
The voice of students contributes to America’s future. Listening to – and acting on – their passions and concerns now will ensure that the path is prosperous for both the administration and the country.
Terren Klein is the CEO and co-founder of College Pulse, a student-focused survey research and analysis company.