Seven in Ten Youth Doubt Trump’s Commitment to Democratic Principles

Seven in ten young adults question President-elect Donald J. Trump's commitment to democratic principles and worry about how his presidency will affect their lives, a GenForward survey finds.

Conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, the survey of 1,823 Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 found that 76 percent of African Americans, 77 percent of Asian Americans, 76 percent of Latino/as, and 67 percent of white Americans believe Trump is unlikely to respect those he disagrees with, while 59 percent, 60 percent, 66 percent, and 54 percent, respectively, are concerned he will make it more difficult for Americans to protest.

The survey also found that respondents of color were far more likely to say they will be worse off in four years — including 43 percent of African Americans (vs. 12 percent who expect to be better off), 44 percent of Asian Americans (vs. 16 percent), and 47 percent of Latino/as (vs. 18 percent) — while 35 percent of white respondents expect to be worse off, compared with 30 percent who expect to be better off. Across all racial and ethnic groups surveyed, overwhelming majorities said they did not expect the lives of people of color to improve under the Trump administration, while 59 percent of African-American, 62 percent of Asian-American, 67 percent of Latino/a, and 45 percent of white respondents expect  the lives of whites to improve. White respondents also were more likely than respondents of color to say that the lives of middle class, working class, and poor people, as well as women, would improve.

In addition, large majorities of African Americans (67 percent), Asian Americans (63 percent), Latino/as (65 percent), and whites (73 percent) said they lacked trust in media organizations to fully, accurately, and fairly report the news, while 63 percent, 72 percent, 68 percent, and 60 percent were concerned about the media's ability to hold the Trump administration accountable.

"This report presents the first extensive data on young people's thoughts about the incoming Trump administration, and it shows that millennials across different race and ethnic groups have a great deal of concern over Trump's presidency," said Cathy Cohen, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and founder of the Black Youth Project and GenForward survey. "These concerns and fears are especially pronounced among young adults of color."