What Do Young Voters Think of Joe Biden?
DES MOINES, Iowa — Back in 2012, a fifth-grader voted for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
Without context, the phrase above might seem like an implication of the most daring feat of voter fraud in the history of the United States of America.
The truth, however, is less extraordinary. Lindsay York, a first-year at Drake University, told former Vice President Joe Biden at this year’s Polk County Steak Fry that she voted for Obama and Biden in her fifth grade’s “Kid Vote.” This mock election occurred in 2012: fast-forward to today, and York is an eligible voter who is considering whether or not to caucus for the former Vice President.
Since Joe Biden entered the 2020 presidential race back in April, I have been curious to see how much support he would get from young voters. A general consensus has emerged that Biden is struggling to engage with young voters and that his fan base consists mostly of older adults.
I decided to see for myself if this was the case by heading to the Biden campaign pre-Steak Fry rally. The Biden camp had set up a breakfast line, a bounce house, and musical entertainment for their supporters. As I walked around, I noticed that the majority of attendees were middle-aged to older adults, and most of the young people present were either workers on the campaign or media personnel.
I was able to interview a couple of college-age voters that were present to find out why they supported Joe Biden. Scott Nemec is a senior at Iowa State University and is an environmental studies major. When asked why he plans on caucusing for Biden, Nemec cited his plan on climate change: “Joe Biden’s plan for climate change seems to be the most realistic and easiest to implement into our economy.” Nemec also noted that he has a brother who works on the Biden campaign.
York, who studies biochemistry and molecular biology at Drake University, said that she sees Vice President Biden is the most “presidential” out of all the candidates: “he holds himself very well in office and he knows what he is doing”. She also claimed that she knew other people her age who were interested in supporting Biden. With the Vice President recently polling behind Elizabeth Warren in Iowa, those young people may have a key role in swinging the outcome of the Iowa caucuses.