Democrats sound the alarm on Joe Biden’s young voter problem The party’s presidential front-runner is taking the vulnerability seriously: Some say it reminds them of Clinton in 2016, and won’t be easy to overcome
WASHINGTON — Joe Biden consolidated his gains as he races to the Democratic nomination, dominating a trio of primaries last Tuesday among voters male and female, rich and poor, white and nonwhite, college and high school graduates.
But there was one glaring exception: young voters.
Voters under 45 continued to support Bernie Sanders by huge margins in Florida, Illinois and Arizona even as other groups came around to Biden. The gap has been largest with voters in their 20s or teens, mirroring a problem that hurt Hillary Clinton in key states in 2016: a lack of excitement among the young.
“I’m deeply concerned about the impact that a lack of enthusiasm from young voters could have in a general election,” said Neil Sroka, a spokesman for Democracy for America, a progressive advocacy group that backs Sanders. “The consistent concern has been that nominating Vice President Biden would be essentially a repeat of the 2016 election.”
Failing to excite young voters in the primary has been a “significant red flag” for Democrats in recent decades, Sroka said: Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, who were backed by young people, went on to win the election, while Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Al Gore lacked that enthusiasm and ended up losing.