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Dems Are Relying On A Magic Bullet For The Midterms. It’s All But Doomed To Fail

(Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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It looks like the Democrats’ student loan repayment scheme is failing to produce results after voter enthusiasm in a critical voting bloc swells over growing fears the economy is crumbling.

Young voters are signaling that despite holding one-third of all student loan debt ($578 billion), they aren’t impressed with the billions in student loan relief President Joe Biden gave away in August, according to the Trafalgar group’s latest polling. The polling, done in partnership with Convention of States Action, shows more young voters than not told the polling group they won’t be voting for 2022 midterm candidates who support the handout.

Almost 51% of voters aged 18 to 24 said they are less likely to vote for a candidate that supports Biden’s order on student loan forgiveness than a candidate who doesn’t, the poll showed. Comparatively, 49.5% of voters in the same age range said that they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports Democrats’ student loan scheme. Democrats needed much higher support among 18 to 24-year-olds to have the momentum necessary to give their party victory in the midterms.

“We’re seeing this reflected not just in the polling but on the ground as well with grassroots activists we talk to in every state. Voters—particularly those must-win Independents—are appalled by Biden’s plan and will respond at the ballot box,” President of the Convention of States Mark Meckler said. “This is looking like the sleeper issue that may have more impact in November than people suspect.”

The Student Loan Forgiveness poll was conducted by the Trafalgar Group, partnered with the Convention of States Action, from Sept. 2-5. The poll surveyed 1,084 likely voters with a 2.9% margin of error. (RELATED: Biden Admin Using Post-9/11 Law As Legal Basis For Canceling Student Debt)

Only 20% of voters aged 18-29 turned out to vote in the 2014 midterm elections when Republicans won control of both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Compare these results to 2018 when 36% of young voters showed up to vote giving Republicans an expanded control of the U.S. House and Democrats control of the U.S. Senate.

“Democrats are unusually dependent on support among the young, and if youth turnout in 2022 regresses to levels closer to those in the 2014 midterms, a lot of Democratic incumbents will be looking for new jobs,” The Washington Post, political columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. warned in June 2022.

An August Civiqs poll completed in connection with the Progressive organization, Alliance For Youth Action, showed that 83% of young people, aged 17 to 39, said they were “extremely” motivated to vote in November. Among those polled, 47% viewed Biden very negatively, while just 13% gave him top marks.

“From access to abortion services to the future of our environment to jobs and the economy, there is certainly a lot at stake this election for young Americans,” Alliance for Youth Action director Dakota Hall said. “That’s why it’s more important than ever that young people continue to be a formidable voting bloc this election season and make their voices heard.”

“Midterms don’t always get as much fanfare as presidential elections, but we want young people to know that they are just as important. This year, voters will select their representatives in competitive House races, as well as casting a ballot in close Senate, governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state legislative and local races,” Hall added.

The Civiqs poll, in connection with Alliance for Youth Action, surveyed 2,332 young people aged 17-39 in eleven 2022 battleground states from Aug. 11-15 with a margin of error of +/-4.4%. (RELATED: A New Piece Of Data Spells Bad News For Democrats)

Biden is still motivating young voters to show up in November, just not the way Democrats had hoped. Over 50% of respondents told Civiqs that inflation and the economy were among the top three issues driving them to vote in November, and 45% said bringing inflation under control should be a top priority for elected officials to be working on right now.

“Once again, all eyes will be on the youth vote, and this poll shows that young people across the political spectrum in battleground states are extremely motivated to vote in this midterm election,” Director of Civiqs Drew Linzer said.

Student loan debt was only a top motivating issue for 10% of young voters, according to Civiqs.

A majority of young voters aged 18-29 said the country was not headed in the right direction, the Economist/YouGov September poll showed. The poll surveyed 1,500 U.S. adults aged 18 and over from Sept. 17-20 with a margin of error of +/- 2.9%. (RELATED: CBO Reveals Taxpayer Cost Of Biden’s Student Loan Gambit)

Like everyone else in the U.S., the dominant motivation for young voters to show up on election day in November is the increased cost of filling their fridge, a separate poll from the Trafalgar Group in connection with the Convention of States Action reported.

Over 68% of all voters told the polling group that the rising price of groceries increased their motivation to vote in November, according to the poll. The 2022 Motivation–Grocery Prices poll was conducted by the Trafalgar Group, partnered with the Convention of States Action, from Sept. 17-20. The poll surveyed 1,079 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9%.

“You can kiss the Trump economy goodbye–the disastrous policies pushed by Joe Biden and his administration are shrinking the wallets of the American people in real-time,” Meckler said. “The Democrats are providing a live case study for their policies in action, and it’s no secret that the results are nothing short of a complete failure.”

But what makes this a nightmare for Democrats is that of the respondents aged 18-24, over 90% said the price of groceries raised their desire to vote in the midterms, compared to the 9.6% who said it didn’t, Trafalgar reported. Similarly, the majority of young voters told the Economist/YouGov September poll that the current state of the U.S. economy was bad, while only 35% said it was doing well.

Democratic pollster Molly Murphy told Dionne Jr. in June for The Washington Post that the Democratic party can’t rely on young Democratic voters to save them in the midterms. She argued that although they are closely aligned with Democrats on policy and issues, they aren’t as loyal as older generations of supporters. Murphy explained that it’s not that these voters are “defect[ing]” to the Republican Party, but rather they “have found other ways to express their activism.”

“Despite Democratic accomplishments and the Republicans building barriers to additional achievements, younger voters feel they’re not getting much from Democrats that’s changing their lives,” Murphy said, according to Dionne Jr.