POLL: Majority of Young Americans Don’t Believe Trump’s Presidency Is Legitimate

Among young adults in the U.S., a majority (57 percent) view Donald Trump’s presidency as illegitimate, and this includes about three-quarters of African-Americans and some fairly huge majorities of Latinos and Asians, according to a new poll, The Guardian reports. 

Young people are challenging the electorate

GenForward polled adults between the ages of 18 and 30 as part of a collaboration between the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. 

The poll showed that a tiny majority of whites (we’re talking 53 percent), consider Trump a legitimate president, but out of that number, 55 percent don’t like the job he’s doing.

“That’s who we voted for. And obviously America wanted him more than Hillary Clinton,” Rebecca Gallardo, a 30-year-old nursing student from Kansas City, Missouri, told The Guardian. She voted for Trump.

But it’s actually the Electoral College that supported Trump, while Clinton won the popular vote by nearly three million ballots.

And earlier this year, Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia), questioned Trump’s legitimacy as president.

“I think the Russians participated in getting this man elected,” he said. “And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”

But Millennials really went for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in a big way, leading him to become the most popular candidate among that age group.

Despite that, we’re all stuck with Trump now, and that doesn’t sit well with a lot of young adults.

Some, like Jermaine Anderson, 21, of Coconut Creek, Florida remember the president’s racist remarks that characterized some Mexican people as rapists and drug dealers and the memory doesn’t fade easily away, The Associated Press reports. 

“You can’t be saying that (if) you’re the president,” he said.

And with increasing numbers of young people like Anderson and Gallardo, the electorate will become more diverse. As things stand right now, only 22 percent of young Americans approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 62 percent don’t approve.

Related: WHIPLASH: Trump Flip-Flops On Poll He Was Against Before It Was For Him – BUT IS IT?

Trump is now presiding over a country in which the Census Bureau estimates that half of the children born in the U.S. in 2020 will be part of a minority race or ethnic group. It’s also estimated by 2044 non-Hispanic whites will be a minority, per The Guardian.

It’s worth remembering that this is what our current president once said:

“They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

For Anderson, whose parents are from Jamaica, this rhetoric is troubling.

“I’m thinking, he’s saying that most of the people in the world who are raping and killing people are the immigrants,” he said. “That’s not true.”

During interviews, people who took part in the poll said they didn’t vote for one party’s candidate over another’s. This tendency isn’t unusual among young Americans, say some experts. The survey also found that neither party had a particularly strong showing.

Only a quarter of those surveyed viewed the Republican Party favorably, while six out of ten viewed the Party unfavorably. Majorities of young adults spanning across racial and ethnic lines viewed the GOP unfavorably.

The Democratic Party fared better, but even here the results weren’t overwhelmingly positive. In this case young folks were likelier to have a more favorable than unfavorable view of the Party by a 47 percent to 6 percent margin. However, only 14 percent said they held strongly favorable views of the Democrats.

And people of color held more favorable views of the Democratic Party, The Guardian notes. About six in ten African-Americans, Asians and Latinos had positive opinions of the Party. But among young whites, things were a bit different. Here, they were somewhat likelier to hold unfavorable as opposed to favorable views, at 47 percent to 39 percent.

The survey also found that most young adults hold a dim view of Trump, with eight in 10 thinking he’s doing a bad job regarding policies he’s tried to implement. And seven out of 10 don’t particularly care for his demeanor as president.

“I do not like him as a person,” Gallardo said.

She voted for him anyway, because she didn’t trust Clinton. Whether she was shooting herself — and the rest of us in the foot, I can’t say. I had my doubts about Clinton as well, but now we have a president who’s cutting domestic programs across the board while shoveling loads of money into defense spending.

But one thing is certain: Millennials turned out for Bernie Sanders in droves, as The Washington Post notes in this June 2016 story. By that point in the campaign, Sanders had won more votes from adults younger than age 30 than either Trump or Clinton combined. This chart below, compiled by the Center for Information and Research On Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) shows just how well Sanders did up to that point.

Chart provided by the Washington Post and the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning And Engagement.

To me, this means that perhaps the rest of us should have been listening to what these young people were saying.

Megan was born and raised in Ventura, California. She has since lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Mexico, and Costa Rica. While she has always been a liberal, her travels have informed her politics. She has worked for more than 25 years as a professional journalist writing about crime, the police, local politics, feature stories, environmental issues and a variety of other topics. She now writes for Reverb Press. Megan supports Black Lives Matter and fights against racism, sexism, the corporatocracy, climate change deniers and others who continue to destroy the planet.
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