IGNITE Poll: Who is currently your top pick for President in 2020?

Following two additional female Presidential contenders entering the 2020 race, IGNITE released a poll this week on the Presidential candidate of choice for Gen Z and Millennial women, showing the majority of this group is undecided (35.3%). Of those who selected a candidate, United States Senator Kamala Harris was the top choice with 30.3%. Elizabeth Warren came in at distant third with 8.0%, and Julián Castro came in fourth with 5.3%. The nationwide poll was conducted February 4th- February 11th with 300 respondents.

“These poll results show young women are undecided and are waiting to hear more about the candidates’ platforms and issues. With their numbers and power at the ballot box, younger women will shape our future. Successful campaigns will employ a youth-focused strategy that speaks to and engages young women.” 

- Anne Moses, Founder and President of IGNITE

Tapping into the unprecedented engagement of young people in Southern states during the midterm and state elections, IGNITE held Young Women Run conferences to mobilize young women in Dallas-Fort-Worth, TX (February 9, 2019) and in Atlanta, GA (February 9, 2019). College women and recent college graduates who were involved in 2018 campaigns in Georgia and Texas joined Dr. Moses for a teleconference to release the poll results and to talk about the 2020 campaign. They talked about:

  • Their experiences on the Stacey Abrams and Beto O'Rourke campaigns;
  • Why candidates need to focus on issues important to Gen Z and Millennials such as immigration
  • reform, prison reform, and student debt; and,
  • Their advice to the candidates about how to prioritize people of color and authentically engage young women of color in their campaigns.

Below are highlights from the conversation.

Thoughts about engaging young women of color in the presidential campaign

“Black women are a very powerful voting block. It is ignorant not to capitalize on the votes of Black women. It has been shown over and over again that we will ride for candidates, that we go out we will knock on doors, this that and the other.”

- Sophia Howard, Spelman College

“The way Beto led his campaign this past election has changed campaigning and community engagement for every candidate to come. There's a lot that we expect now as women and as people of color. We want to know what you're doing to continue that conversation with our communities because it goes beyond just having one or two staffers that are people of color. Young women have started to realize that the only way candidates should get our support is because they've earned it. We know the power that we can bring them when we organize and get involved."

- Cecilia Silva, the University of Texas at Arlington; Speaker of the school Senate

“I was heavily involved in the Stacey Abrams campaign and also the campaign for Lucy McBath. I did a lot of canvassing. I went out every day after classes. I also organized canvassing events on campus. This past election cycle was particularly important for women of color, and people of color in general because there were so many candidates that were able to galvanize young voters to come to the polls and to be involved beyond Election Day. It is remarkable that so many women of color were able to inspire people who were voters to understand that politics can look like them and be shaped by people who look like them.” 

- Amira Daugherty, Agnes Scott College, Student Government Association President

"A lot of us have realized that we need to own our truth and our power. As we saw in these past elections, being civically engaged is critical. I've been used to my share of upsets and I've thought so much about what I want to give back to my community. There is an urgency here [in Dallas Texas] when it comes to students and families. That’s why I've decided to run for public office. I'm stepping up to bring a young and unique perspective about living through the experiences of the students in my district.”

- Karla Garcia, IGNITE Alumna from Irma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School, Graduate of the UNC, and Candidate for Dallas Independent School Board School for District 4.

Conversation on the existing presidential candidate pool

“I know that Kamala Harris has a high rating right now in the polls. Mrs. Harris has an interesting position given her past. The Black community wants to support her; wants her to be their candidate. Then they look back and reference her past as District Attorney and the policies that she's had enacted. Quite frankly, we see the Black and Brown bodies that Harris put in prison. I would love to be on her bandwagon, but I do not think that I will be able to be.” 

- Sophia Howard, Spelman College

“I'm not undecided. Virtually as soon as Kamala Harris announced, I was on board. What I find with her is a record of transformational change not only in herself but in the work she has done in the community."

- Amira Daugherty, Agnes Scott College, Student Government Association President

“We're going through a rebirth phase. I think my friends and I are expecting bold progressive ideas and not one point where maybe one of the pillars is lackluster. I think we're at this point where we're saying we're kind of over the idea of being the lesser of two evils, especially in the age of Trump, and we're looking at all encompassing people that are pushing these bold initiatives centered around environmental, economic, and racial justice. There needs to be more talk about restorative justice. It's not too much for people of color, and members of marginalized communities, to expect that from a candidate and especially from the Democratic Party.”

- Yolian Ogbu, University of North Texas. President of UNT IGNITE, Director of Community Outreach and Engagement of the Black Student Union, and Advocate General of the Student Government Association.

Press Inquires

Contact Amy Zucchero, amy@ignitenational.org, 510-542-9208