Joe Biden Drake Candidate Forum 2

Presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden addresses a crowd of AARP members at the 2020 Presidential Candidate Forum hosted by AARP Iowa and the Des Moines Register July 15 at the Olmsted Center at Drake University. Biden talked about his time caring for his parents in his own home and the need to help those caring for elderly family members who can’t afford outside care. 

A recent Civiqs poll conducted by Iowa State found former Vice President Joe Biden with 12 percent support among likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers.

While sitting at 12 percent among all likely Democratic caucusgoers, Biden has only two percent support among likely Democratic caucusgoers ages 18-34. Sen. Bernie Sanders leads among this demographic with 28 percent support, followed by Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 26 percent support, according to the poll.

Zack Bonner, Iowa State lecturer of political science, said Biden fails to pick up as many youth voters as candidates such as Warren because this demographic tends to be more progressive while Biden is a moderate — though Bonner said this could benefit him in bigger swing states. 

“Even though the youth vote is doing much better, I think in general more of the population is likely to stick with a more moderate candidate,” Bonner said. “Generally they are looking for a candidate that not necessarily agrees 100 percent with all issues they are focused [on], but one that [can beat] Donald Trump in the general election.”

Throughout this election cycle, questions of age and gender of the potential Democratic nominee have been ongoing debates, and Bonner said he believes this hurts Biden.

“In terms of the youth vote, him being the stereotypical, older male politician, [...] might be working against him because this generation is a much more progressive and diverse generation than ever before, and I think it seems like they are wanting to support a female or LGBTQ candidate,” Bonner said.

Bonner said the Biden campaign’s goal may not require locking in the youth vote due to lower voter turnout in the past among that age bloc.

However, two percent among younger voters is not zero, and Biden has some support among younger voters, including at Iowa State.

Darien Porter, freshman in history, said he supports Biden because of the legacy he has left, particularly from the Obama administration.

“I thought Obama was a pretty revolutionary president, and the things he did for the country were really good,” Porter said. “Biden has the same opinions as him and he will continue to build off what Obama did.”

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