Donald Trump? Joe Biden? No, the issues

young voters
“Few seem inspired by or engaged in the current political climate."

Young Black, Hispanic, Native American and Asian-American voters aren’t enthused about President Donald Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, according to research released this week by the Advancement Project.

But the research in key battleground states, including Florida, also showed that minority voters between ages 18 and 24 are more motivated to vote because of issues rather than candidates.

At the top of the list of reasons to vote is racial justice, a series of polls and focus groups conducted for the Advancement Project National Office’s Young Voters of Color Get Out the Vote campaign, dubbed “Vote. By Any Means Necessary.”

The surveys found that young minority voters respond best to “bold messages” centering on issues they care deeply about, such as racism and systemic inequality, as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

The Advancement Project released a “messaging guide” Wednesday to help other groups pump up turnout among young voters for the Nov. 3 election.

The takeaways from the research “are clear for us,” Advancement Project National Office Executive Director Judith Browne Dianis told reporters during a Zoom conference.

“For young voters of color, the 2020 election is not about the presidential candidate. It’s about the issues,” she said.

The research, which included focus groups in Florida, also showed that young voters of color “desperately need education” about voting, Dianis said.

The research found that “young people of color are widely pessimistic and personally grappling with our country’s mounting challenges,” the guide said.

“Few seem inspired by or engaged in the current political climate,” according to the guide.

The guide advised advocates to “acknowledge their disillusionment and the failure of political entities to effectively engage young voters.”

The Advancement Project also encouraged people not to shy away from talking about race and racial injustice.

Linking protesting and organizing with voting would also help encourage young voters of color to cast ballots, the research found.

“Translating images of recent protests to voting was very well-received including strong, vibrant images that visualized the victims of state violence,” the guide advised.

The research also suggested that using guilt as a motivator won’t work.

Emphasizing voting as a civic duty resonated the least with young voters of color.

Young Black and Hispanic voters “described voting as a choice and an action in which their community did not always feel welcome to participate,” the guide said.

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Republished with permission of The News Service of Florida.

Jim Turner

Jim Turner is a Capitol reporter for the News Service of Florida, providing coverage on issues ranging from transportation and the environment to Legislative and Cabinet politics, which are some of the areas he worked in 20 years with TCPalm in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast. Jim grew up in Millburn, New Jersey, where he started his journalism career providing weekly reports on the high school soccer team --- of which he was a member--- to the local Millburn Item. Jim received degrees in journalism and history from High Point University in North Carolina.


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