Associated Press White House Correspondent Julie Pace told an MSNBC Morning Joe panel on Tuesday that a new poll showing that Hillary Clinton is struggling with the youth vote is largely due to the fact that she hasn’t given them a reason to support her.
Pace referenced a new GenForward poll of voters aged 18 to 30, showing that just 26 percent of young whites and 49 percent of young Hispanics have a positive opinion of Clinton.
“I just don’t see her being honest and straightforward,” said Alexander Tomas, an 18-year-old Hispanic from Fort Worth, Texas. A recent high school graduate, Tomas supported Sanders in the state’s Democratic primary, but says he’s now undecided about his choice in November’s general election.
The poll showed that 54% of young voters had a negative opinion of Clinton. That includes 68% of white voters, 42% of Hispanics and 38% of Asians—numbers that are far worse than in Barack Obama’s two elections:
Pace: One of the big things and this really won’t come as a huge surprise, is they just do not find her honest and trustworthy. They don’t believe that she’s straightforward. They believe that she is part of the same establishment political system, that as I said, they don’t feel represents their interests right now and so she can take away from this some good news, which is that they just believe that Donald Trump is so outside of the mainstream of their lives that they could never vote for him, but she’s really struggling still to give young voters a proactive reason to come out and support her that’s not just about opposing Donald Trump.
Pace noted that young voters were crucial to Obama’s victories in 2008 and 2012—gathering 66% and 60% of their support respectively—and that Democrats are worried that if Clinton is unable to put together a similar coalition—and it looks like she won’t—that she will have to make up that margin elsewhere.
“These young people need a reason to actually come out and support her and right now Hillary Clinton alone isn’t giving them that reason,” Pace said.
Later in the program BBC World News America’s Katty Kay said that she spoke to young women who said that while they felt that having a woman president would be new, Clinton felt old to them.
“Not just that she feels old in terms of age, she feels like old news,” Kay said. “There’s nothing fresh about her.”
That, combined with the 54 percent of young voters who don’t trust her, will make it virtually impossible to replicate Obama’s success with this group, thus providing yet another hurdle in her quest to become president.