We asked more than 1,800 young people what they think is the biggest issue facing America, and the most popular answer was Trump
Editor’s note: Business Insider surveyed 1,884 young Americans about their buying attitudes and beliefs. This is part of a series of stories that will be rolled out over the next several weeks.
Donald Trump Jr. tried to woo the youth during a rally in February, encouraging young conservatives not to let themselves “be indoctrinated by these loser teachers that are trying to sell you on socialism from birth.”
But, according to Business Insider’s recent survey of 1,884 young people, much of Generation Z isn’t having it. In fact, many of the respondents listed US President Donald Trump when asked to identify “the most important issue facing the country right now.”
Participants in the survey were all Americans between the age of 13 and 21. The national poll was conducted with SurveyMonkey Audience partner Cint on behalf of Business Insider. It ran from January 11 through January 14. Out of those participants, 1,559 young people answered the question about the biggest issue facing the country, while 325 opted to skip it.
All in all, a total of 295 young people indicated that Trump was the biggest problem facing the nation. That’s just over 18% of the individuals who answered the write-in question, but it was by far the most popular response.
Even the second and third most popular answers were closely connected to the president’s actions. The runner-up response was “the government shutdown,” which proved to be the most important issue for 183 respondents. And issues surrounding Trump’s proposed border wall were significant for 123 young people.
What’s more, many of the participants were scathing in their comments about Trump.
“Trump thinks he can do whatever he wants and doesn’t care about who he hurts,” one young person wrote in their response.
Another respondent accused Trump of being “a selfish president who blackmails the country in order to get his way.”
Other adjectives bandied about were “stupid,” “disgusting, and “incompetent,” while a different person accused Trump of “caging up literal children.”
But the responses included a few pro-Trump outliers. Out of the 295 responses mentioning Trump or “the president” more generally, two appeared to take more of an issue with Trump’s detractors.
One participant wrote that “people not supporting the president” was the biggest issue in the US today, while another agreed that the fact that “people don’t like our president” was a significant problem.
The results of the survey aren’t exactly surprising, considering Trump’s relative unpopularity with young people. In January 2019, the Pew Research Center found that only 30% of Generation Z approves of the president’s performance, significantly lower than his overall approval rating.
Of course, Trump does have some support among younger generations, as evidenced by the thousands of young attendees at the pro-Trump Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit this year.
But, on whole, the numbers might give pause to politicians of the Trumpian strain as Generation Z continues to reach the voting age.
Correction: An earlier version of this article said that 5% of respondents listed Trump as the biggest issue facing the US.
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