Poll: Millennials Pose Challenges for Trump, Clinton

Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton speak at the Commander-in-Chief Forum.
Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton speak at the Commander-in-Chief Forum.Reuters: AP

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By Didi Martinez

Hillary Clinton is gaining ground among millennials compared to her closest challenger Donald Trump, but many are still not eager to join her camp – especially among so-called “Sanders hold-outs,” according to the results of a new poll.

Clinton leads Trump 48 to 23 among likely millennial voters, according to the survey conducted by left-leaning NextGen Climate, a group run by Democrat donor and Clinton supporter Tom Steyer, and Project New America.

Clinton’s support increased five points since last month while Trump’s support decreased by one point in a four-way race between Clinton, Trump, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, who garnered 13 percent, and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who had eight percent support. (In a two-way scenario, Clinton also leads Trump 56 to 28.)

“Among millennials, Clinton is seeing consolidation,” said Andrew Baumann, Global Strategy Group senior vice president, in a media conference discussing the findings. “There’s very little movement on Trump. Views on Trump remain entirely static.”

Meanwhile, the poll also suggests that third parties could pose an additional threat to Clinton, especially among former Sanders supporters. Sixteen percent of Sanders supporters are "hold-outs," according to the poll, and say they won't support her.

“There’s very little danger that these Sanders supporters will vote for Trump, but there is a danger that these voters will vote for a third party,” Baumann said.

This comes as Johnson has gained access to ballots in all 50 states and Stein on 45.

Also problematic for Clinton is that many young voters are unable to see the difference between the two candidates on some issues, including clean energy reform.

“Basically, you had one-third of Sanders supporters saying there was no difference between Clinton and Trump,” Baumann said.

Young voters in this poll have low opinions of Trump; only 23 percent have a favorable opinion of him compared to 44 percent who view Clinton favorably.

Seventy-three percent see Trump as “racist,” 74 percent say they “would be scared” if Trump controlled nuclear codes, 70 percent said he is “unfit” to protect Americans and 25 percent think he “respects women.”

Furthermore, most respondents find some of Trump’s actions to be “very offensive,” including 72 percent of young adults who found “mocking a reporter’s disability,” an issue Clinton has highlighted in her campaign ads, offensive.

The poll, which was conducted by Global Strategy Group, interviewed more than 1, 652 adults – 902 of which are considered likely voters --between the ages of 18 and 34 in key battleground states. These results were a follow up to a previous survey conducted in June and July.