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Activism

Gen Z and Voting

5 minutes read

- Written by Yubo Team

Generation Z is leading to be the most influential generation of all time. They’re a generation of people who grew up witnessing injustices on social media, who went through a global pandemic during what was supposed to be the best years of their life, who can amplify their voices with a simple tweet, and who are excitedly changing traditional norms of society. 

Today’s Midterm elections in the United States are the first time we as a nation will be able to see the true impact of Gen Z on U.S. politics. To better understand Gen Z and their crossover with politics, we sent out a poll to over two thousand Yubo users of voting age in the United States asking for their views on the upcoming election and American politics.

What is Generation Z?

Gen Zers (typically) are those born from 1997 to 2012, and currently counts for those of ten to twenty-five years of age. In the United States, Gen Z is the most racially diverse generation thus far with only 52% of Gen Zers being white, while their predecessors, Millennials, were 61% white. They also happen to be on track to be the highest educated generation we’ve seen, already enrolling a higher percentage of Gen Zers into college than Millennials had respectively. This sets Generation Z to not only be a more informed group, but a group who better represents all people within the United States.

Will Generation Z Vote in the upcoming elections?

Out of over 2,000 Gen Z users polled, 69.8% of surveyors said yes to voting in the upcoming election. By 2024, Millennials and Gen Z are estimated to account for the largest percentage of U.S. voters, giving them real opportunity to make changes. But, what type of changes may these be?

What topics matter most to Gen Z when voting?

50% of surveyors said the Economy was the most important topic to them. This was followed by social justice at 43%, healthcare at 42%, and employment at 32%. Taxation, education and climate change all had similar numbers near 30%. Foreign policy/relations and international trade were the least picked options. 

Gen Z’s concerns match what their generation has gone through. Many have graduated from highschool, expecting to move out, only to be hit with the high costs of homes, rent and interests rates, plus a worldwide pandemic affecting employment. Due to the increase of social media, Gen Zers are more aware of social justice issues than ever. In a study done by Reach3, they found that 77% of those asked, said TikTok helped them learn more about social justice, as well as politics. An early display of the power social media has on politics can be seen with one of the past presidential candidate’s rallies receiving over 1 million RSVPs, just for less than nineteen thousand supporters to show up in person. What caused this fakeout? Young supporters of a Korean Pop band wanting to make their idols proud by taking a stand for what they believed in. All communication was done strictly through social media. 

Surprisingly, when we polled our users asking if they share their political opinions on social media, 61% of users said no while 72% of users said they believed sharing political opinions on social media has an impact. 

How does Gen Z determine who to vote for?

We know the topics most important to Gen Z, but now, how do they pick a candidate? Well, in our Yubo poll, 68% of surveyors said they would choose a candidate based on their specific ideas and plans while only 17% said they would choose a candidate based on their party alone. Gen Z is seeking a candidate who truly represents their beliefs, instead of just representing a party they’re supposed to align with. They’re ready to move on from the traditional style of politics, and truly focus on the individual who can shape the country into the view they want to see. 

How does Gen Z view American politics?

When asked if American politics are outdated, 64% of respondents answered yes with 55% of them blaming this on the two party system, electoral college, winner-take-all voting, and the requirements to vote. 25% of poll takers, however, believed the two party system is the key reason American politics are outdated. 

How Can You Be More Involved in Politics?

You don’t need to have thousands of followers to make a difference, all you need is to use your voice. First and foremost, go out and vote! After that, you can post your beliefs to whichever social media platform you may have. If you’d prefer to stand for what you believe in more physically, then volunteer for a campaign or attend peaceful protests throughout your community. You can join a nonprofit organization to spread their message or donate to your favorite NGO. However you chose to be a part of the change is up to you, and no matter how small the action may seem, it only needs to impact a single individual to ignite change. 

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