San Francisco (CA) -- Research released by IGNITE, a national nonprofit that promotes political and civic engagement among Gen Z and Millennial women, reveals that the political views of Gen Z shows a vast gender divide that will have significant implications for the 2020 election. The research shows that for the first time in American history, women of the Gen Z generation will surpass their male peers in terms of political engagement. Given their left-leaning tendencies and share of the voting block, Gen Z women will likely not just impact the 2020 election results, but are poised to shape the future direction of American politics in a progressive direction.
IGNITE partnered with Dr. Melissa Deckman of Washington College to survey a nationally representative sample of more than 2,200 Americans aged 18-23 in the summer of 2019, finding that Gen Z women are significantly more politically engaged than their male counterparts, while also leaning more to the left in their political orientation.
Democrats would be wise to consider mobilizing this growing cohort, while Republicans will need to work on a message that may be more appealing to this important group of American voters, according to IGNITE.
“Young women are ready for a shift in political leadership and they are motivated to make that happen,” said Dr. Anne Moses, IGNITE’s founder and President. “With their numbers and power at the ballot box, Gen Z women will shape our future. Successful campaigns should employ a youth and gender focused strategy that speaks to and engages young women.”
Increased political engagement among the youngest Americans matters to this election cycle and beyond. Historically, younger voters have been less likely to come to the polls than older Americans. Yet voter turnout among young Americans surged in the 2018 midterms, especially among eligible college women, who, at 43 percent, more than doubled their previous turnout from 2014. Together, Gen Z and millennials (ages 24 to 39) are projected to make up 37% of voters in the 2020 presidential election, according to the Pew Research Center. Gen Z is set to make up more than 10% of the 2020 electorate, surpassing the elderly Silent Generation for the first time.
According to IGNITE, Forty-five percent of Gen Z women—including those not in college—said they are “absolutely certain” to vote in the 2020 presidential elections, with an additional 24 percent indicating they are “likely” to vote. While more than 1 in 4 Gen Z women have not made up their minds about who they intend to vote for in the 2020 presidential race, only 14 percent say they intend to vote for Donald Trump this November. By contrast, 26 percent of Gen Z men say that they intend to vote for Donald Trump.
When it comes to party affiliation, young women are registering Republican at the lowest rates in US history. Nearly half (49 percent) of Gen Z women identify as Democrats or Democratic-leaning independents, 25 percent identify as Independent or with a third party, and only 26 percent identify as Republican or Republican-leaning. Democratic partisanship soars among women of color: 60 percent of African American women identify as Democratic as do 70 percent of Asian women and 52 percent of Latinas.
While Gen Z men are also more likely to identify as Democrats, they do so at lower rates (44 percent) than Gen Z women, and they are significantly more likely, at 32 percent, to identify as Republican or as Republican-leaning independents.
Gen Z women also hold more progressive views than Gen Z men on numerous policy issues like increasing the minimum wage, gun control and abortion rights.
“Young women have started to realize that the only way candidates should get our support is because they’ve earned it, “ says Cecilia Silva, IGNITE alumna from Arlington, TX. “We know the power that we can bring when we organize and vote.”
About IGNITE: IGNITE is a national movement of young women who are ready and eager to become the next generation of political leaders. As a nonpartisan 501c3, IGNITE builds political ambition in high school and college-aged young women in their own communities. IGNITE provides civic education, exposure to women in political leadership, hands-on training, work opportunities, and a peer network of women who support and nurture each other’s aspirations for civic and political leadership. Leading up to 2020, IGNITE will train 10,000 young women across the country. Participation in the IGNITE program has tripled since the 2016 election.
Contact: Amy Zucchero, email@example.com, (510) 542-9208