Students for Open Primaries conducted a survey of 1,000 American young people across the country between June 1, 2022 and October 1, 2022. We asked them a series of eleven questions about how they view the current state of American elections, political affiliation, and their support for change. Respondents were roughly split between millennial voters (23-39 yrs old), and voting age or close to voting age Gen Z voters (16-22 yrs old).
Click here for the full survey results.
They are increasingly rejecting partisanship and party affiliation altogether. A growing number of young Americans, especially first-time voters, distrust party politics. More and more are rejecting registering with a party, believing that neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party represent them. Well over half of young Americans now view themselves as independent. Other surveys, including Pew Research, have found similar results.
They believe our primary election system is broken. Young people believe our current system of party primaries, and closed party primaries in particular, are a significant issue for them. They believe they are producing elected leaders more accountable to their party than the voters and want to reform the system as a result. However, many of these voters are still unfamiliar with their own state’s rules. More voter education of young people and their voting rights is necessary.
Young voters overwhelmingly support open primaries. Young voters support open and nonpartisan primary systems as a key reform to make our system of elections more representative and democratic.
All of which to say, we better start listening to young voters in terms of how they think about our system of elections and the role they see for themselves in navigating them.