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Michael Simms: New Poll Says Most Young Americans See Trump as ‘Illegitimate President’

Most young Americans see President Donald Trump as illegitimate, according to a new poll.

The survey, conducted by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, questioned young Americans about Trump’s first 50 days in office. The poll of 1,833 adults age 18-30 was conducted February 16 through March 6.

Here are the key findings:

  • Majorities of young adults in each racial and ethnic group disapprove of President Trump’s performance in office.
  • Majorities of young adults in each racial and ethnic group also think that the country today is off on the wrong track, not headed in the right direction.
  • Young adults express considerable concern about Donald Trump’s relations with Russia. Young people of color are especially worried. For example, 54% of Asian Americans, 53% of Latino/as, and 49% of African Americans believe that the 2016 election was hampered by the Russians. Only 39% of whites share this view.
  • Young people differ across race and ethnicity in whether they believe Donald Trump is a legitimate president. While a majority of whites (53%) views Donald Trump as a legitimate president, considerably smaller proportions of African Americans (25%), Asian Americans (36%), and Latino/as (28%) share this belief— instead, most say Trump is not a legitimate president.
  • Large numbers of Millennials report having been politically active during the first 50 days of the Trump administrations. Political engagement has taken place largely online and in opposition to—rather than in support of—President Trump. For example, most contacts with public officials (61% among African Americans, 65% of Asian Americans, 59% of Latino/as, and 62% of whites) have been to express opposition to President Trump and his policies.
  • There continue to be large differences across race and ethnicity in perceptions about the most important problem in America. For example, young people of color list racism as one of the three most important problems in the country, but this issue is not one of the top three issues for young whites.
  • Health care and immigration are among the other top issues listed by Millennials, suggesting a response to Trump’s current policy agenda.


To read the full report GenForward: A survey of the Black Youth Project with the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research by Cathy J. Cohen, Matthew D. Luttig, and Jon C. Rogowski, click here.

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