Commentary: North Carolina Could Be Ground Zero for the Gen Z Revolt Against Democrats

Gen Z Trump Voter
by Manzanita Miller


What began as imprecise theories among a handful of forward-looking political observers and youth organizers is materializing this election year, and poll after poll is now showing young voters deserting Democrats in droves.

Mainstream news outlets have little choice but to acknowledge the vast, double-digit declines in support for Biden among younger voters, a group which supported him by 25 percentage points in 2020. Now we are seeing tentative coverage of the youth shift and warnings to Democrats in VoxNPRCNN and other mainstream outlets.

New evidence gleaned from voter registration numbers indicates that North Carolina – a contentious battleground state – may be ground zero for the youth revolt against Democrats.

Gen Z
Photo by Garry Knight CC1.0

In the battle for voter registration numbers, Republicans are outpacing Democrats among the youngest 18 to 25-year-old voter cohort as outlined in tracking from the analyst Michael Pruser.

In North Carolina, there has been a steep registration drop-off among the 18 to 25-year-old cohort for Democrats, with Democrat registrations among young people plummeting from just over 300,000 in 2020 to 253,420 in 2024. While Republican registrations among the same demographic have declined somewhat as well, the decline has been much smaller for Republicans at just under 10,000 votes.

This data indicates brand new North Carolina voters are registering Democrat in substantially lower numbers than they were four years ago, but it is far from the only piece of evidence that Democrats are in trouble there.

In fact, Americans for Limited Government Foundation pointed out last October that President Joe Biden may lose Gen Z entirely in North Carolina after polls showed Biden down a startling 29 percentage points compared to 2020 exit polls.

Polling from Redfield & Wilton Strategies showed former President Donald Trump winning voters between 18 and 24 by 29-percenatge points after losing them by 12 points in 2020. According to the poll, Zoomers between 18 and 24 planned to support Former President Trump 55 percent to 26 percent. This is a substantial reversal from the 2020 election, when 18–24-year-olds supported Biden 55 percent to 43 percent.

What major issues might be driving this trend? Polls show that younger voters by and large trust Trump over Biden to handle hot-button issues like immigration and the economy as well as foreign policy.

A Morning Consult poll found young people trust Trump over Biden to handle the immigration crisis by seven points, crime by ten points, and the economy by nearly 20 points. Unsurprisingly, Gen Z voters say the economy is the most important issue to them when choosing who to vote for this November.

There is also evidence that Biden’s stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict is driving away young leftists in North Carolina and other states with substantial Arab populations. The “Abandon Biden” movement, a call from pro-Palestinian progressives for Biden to demand a ceasefire in Gaza picked up steam this spring, and swept through several Democratic primary elections, detracting support from Biden.

In North Carolina’s Super Tuesday Democratic primary election 12 percent of residents voted “no preference” in a rejection of Biden on the Democratic ticket, while in Massachusetts over 9 percent of Democratic primary voters chose “uncommitted”.

We also noted recently that the immigration issue is driving a wedge between Democrats and younger Americans, many of whom see the border chaos as out of control. A new NPR / Marist poll found that young people disapprove of Biden’s handling of immigration by a 33-point margin, and over half believe all illegal immigrants should be deported.

Biden’s mishandling of the economy, immigration, and a range of other issues are driving down support for Democrats among younger Americans, and there is little evidence he will be able to recover by November. Whether younger voters simply sit out the election or give their vote to third-party voters – or to Trump – is yet to be seen.

However, with polling showing a possible full-out victory for Trump among Gen Z voters in North Carolina and registration statistics hinting at an edge for Republicans, November will be interesting.

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Manzanita Miller is an associate analyst at Americans for Limited Government Foundation.
Photo “Gen Z Voter” by Gage Skidmore CC2.0.



Reprinted with permission from

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