Poll: Young voters excited for 2022. Will they turn out for Dems again? | Wednesday Morning Coffee

‘We witnessed historic turnout from young Pennsylvanians last cycle and our data shows they’re ready to keep up the momentum in 2022,’ NextGen America President Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez said

November 10, 2021 7:09 am

Voters line up at a polling place on Election Day. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Good Wednesday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Young voters turned out big in 2020, helping to deliver the White House for President Joe Biden. And as the all-the-marbles 2022 midterms draw ever closer, they’re ready to do it again, a new poll shows.

More than two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) to a new poll commissioned by the advocacy group NextGen America say they’re more enthusiastic, or as enthusiastic as ever, to cast their ballots in a race that finds Democrats fighting to hold onto their slender majorities on Capitol Hill. About a third (36 percent) say they’re less enthusiastic, or don’t know.

And 57 percent of respondents said they will definitely, or most likely, vote in next November’s mid-term contests, where control of the Pennsylvania governor’s office, and an open U.S. Senate seat also is on the line. Thirty-six percent of respondents said they were on the fence, or did not plan to vote, the poll showed.

“We witnessed historic turnout from young Pennsylvanians last cycle and our data shows they’re ready to keep up the momentum in 2022,” NextGen America President Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez said in a statement. “As NextGen launches its statewide program in Pennsylvania, our top priority will be building on this foundation and ensuring every young person has the tools they need to raise their voice and participate in our democracy.”

More than six in 10 (61 percent) of the surveys’s 361 respondents told pollsters from the progressive firm Data for Progress, that they ‘definitely’ voted in the 2020 election, following the bumpy trend-line from the 2016 general election that put Donald Trump in the White House (41 percent), and the 2018 mid-terms (25 percent) that gave Democrats control of the U.S. House.

U.S. President Joe Biden arrives for the COP26 UN Climate Summit on November 1, 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. 2021 sees the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference. The conference will run from 31 October for two weeks, finishing on 12 November. It was meant to take place in 2020 but was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo by Adrian Dennis – Pool/Getty Images)

The poll measured the opinion respondents have of a trio of key Pennsylvania politicians: Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who is term-limited out of office next year; U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.

Respondents approved of Wolf’s job performance by a margin of 47-36 percent; they approved of Casey by a margin of 36-26 percent; and disapproved of Toomey 35-30 percent, the poll showed.

About a third of all respondents said they didn’t know enough to make up their minds about the federal legislators, while only 17 percent said the same about Wolf, the poll showed.

Wolf, whose pandemic management policies have enraged Republicans, even as they’ve been embraced by his base, is metaphorically on the ballot in 2022 as voters pick his replacement.

So far, only state Attorney General Josh Shapiro has emerged as a Democratic contender. A pack of Republicans, which likely will soon include Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, are vying for the Republican nomination.

The poll did not ask respondents, all aged 18-36, to measure President Joe Biden’s job performance. Though he was buoyed by last week’s approval of a more than $1 trillion infrastructure bill, the Democratic president’s approval ratings have sagged to an average of 42.6 percent, according to the RealClear Politics polling average.

The midterm elections will be a referendum on the current White House’s policies, and history has shown voters are inclined to punish the party in power during these contests.

A majority of the poll’s respondents (50 percent) self-identified as Democrats or progressives, compared to just 21 percent who said they were Republicans. And nearly six in 10 (59 percent) of all respondents put the economy at the top of their list of priorities for the coming campaign season.

The poll, conducted from Oct. 23 to Nov. 3, has a margin of error of 5 percentage points.

Pennsylvania State Capitol Building. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

Our Stuff.

A Capital-Star analysis has found that in 2021, laws that rename bridges or highways made up one in five of the 83 bills passed by both chambers of the Republican-controlled General Assembly that Gov. Tom Wolf has signed into law. That’s the highest percentage of naming legislation of any year in the past decade. Stephen Caruso crunches the numbers.

Despite facing an inevitable gubernatorial veto, the Republican-controlled Senate pushed a pair of bills to expand concealed-carry rights and open the door for legal action against Pennsylvania municipalities that enact gun ordinances stricter than state law. Marley Parish has the story.

Pennsylvania’s top drug and alcohol officials traveled to Cambria County Tuesday to meet with stakeholders and county officials about the increase in overdose deaths across the commonwealth, Cassie Miller reports.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 4,021 new cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth on Tuesday, bringing the statewide total to 1.6 million new cases since the start of the pandemic, I report.

House Republicans are making another attempt at establishing an office dedicated exclusively to conducting post-election reviews after a previous effort was vetoed by Gov. Tom Wolf, our partners at City & State Pa. report.

Our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune put the spotlight on a program run by the District Attorney’s Office that aims to connect city residents with jobs.

On our Commentary Page this morning, advocate Gary Blumenthal explains how to solve Pa.’s intellectual disability funding crisis. And a Boise State University expert explains how the government will go about spending the $1.2 trillion in infrastructure funding Congress just approved.

(YouTube Screen Capture via Pittsburgh City Paper)

After several days of testimony, a Butler County judge will decide on the custody of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sean Parnell’s children, the Inquirer reports.

The Tribune-Review has the five things you need to know about the possible expansion of COVID-19 booster shots.

PennDOT has put its plans to toll the South Bridge on Interstate 83 in Harrisburg to public commentPennLive reports.

A borough council member in Lancaster County tells LancasterOnline that someone splashed her car with red paint as an act of intimidation.

Twenty-one thousand write-in votes have slowed the vote count in York County, the York Daily Record reports.

Even as local officials certify the results, Republican Northampton County executive candidate Steve Lynch still hasn’t conceded, the Morning Call reports.

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has called on the Scranton school district to negotiate a ‘fair’ contract with striking teachers, the Times-Tribune reports (paywall).

Philadelphia prisons will resume limited in-person visitsWHYY-FM reports.

The public may never know the results of a massive investigation into Pennsylvania’s largest public pension fund, the Inquirer and Spotlight PA report (via WITF-FM).

A former mayor of Edinboro, Pa., who died in August, was remembered Tuesday for his legacy of public serviceGoErie reports (paywall). looks at the nationwide movement to ban native mascots in public schools.

The 2022 midterms will put the integrity of the American electoral system to the ultimate testRoll Call reports.

Here’s your #Pittsburgh Instagram of the Day:

What Goes On
The House and Senate both come in at 11 a.m. today.
10 a.m., Media Center: House Democrats roll out bills aimed at improving the state’s business climate
10:30 a.m., Capitol Steps: Rally in support of striking Scranton teachers
2 p.m., Media Center: Rep. Jeff Wheeland and Sen. Gene Yaw, both Lycoming County Republicans, talk about regulating skill games

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Zach Mako
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. R. Lee James
8 a.m.: Breakfast for Sen. Amanda Cappelletti
8:30 a.m.: Breakfast for Rep. Joe Webster
8:30 a.m.: Breakfast for Sen. Christine M. Tartaglione
Ride the circuit, and give at the max, and you’re out a mildly preposterous $10,900 today.

Gov. Tom Wolf heads to Berks County for a 10:30 a.m. newser encouraging people to take advantage of a walk-in vaccine clinic.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept
Best wishes go out to Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Helen Ubiñas, who celebrates today. Congratulations, and enjoy the day.

Heavy Rotation
Here’s an old favorite from Wilco that still sounds as good as the day it was released. From 2001’s ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,’ it’s ‘Jesus Etc.’

Wednesday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link
Carolina returned to its winning ways, beating regional rivals Tampa 2-1 in overtime on Tuesday night. The ‘Canes sit atop the Metropolitan Division, three points clear of the second place New York Rangers.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.