Lots of young people want a candidate who will appoint more minorities to top positions, and many of them think Bernie Sanders is the candidate to do it, according to a new Fusion poll about race and the election.
When asked which of the presidential candidates would be most likely to appoint minorities to high ranking positions, 35% of young people chose Bernie Sanders while 22% chose Hillary Clinton. Republican candidates were far less likely to be chosen, with each of them registering in the low single digits, while 26% of young people had no opinion about the question. Among those young adults who chose a candidate, 60% said that appointing minorities to important positions is a good reason to support someone's candidacy.
By similar margins, both white and Hispanic respondents thought Sanders was more likely to appoint minorities to top jobs than Clinton. Among black respondents, however, 38% chose Sanders and 37% chose Clinton, a difference within the poll’s margin of error.
The results are consistent with the generally high levels of support that Sanders enjoys among younger voters. Though Sanders struggles with African American support against Clinton, he often performs better with younger black voters than with older ones.
When asked about ‘race relations’ during the Obama presidency, young white people were far more likely to say that things have deteriorated, with 47% saying race relations have gotten worse over the last eight years compared with just 28% of both black and Hispanic young people. However, when those same respondents were asked how much they thought the President was to blame for poor race relations, a similar majority of both white and non-white respondents said that things would have been the same no matter what the President did or did not do.
Fifty-five percent of young people also felt that Obama’s presidency was judged more harshly because of the President’s race. Young black people were far more likely to say that the President’s race adversely affected views of his presidency with 82% of them saying he had a harder time, compared with 53% of young white people and 47% of young Hispanic people.
The poll also asked young adults about support for reparations, an issue that made headlines earlier this year when Fusion asked both Democratic primary candidates whether or not they supported reparations for slavery. The poll found that only 32% of young people support reparations, defined in the poll as “cash payments from the federal government to black Americans as a way to compensate them for slavery and other past discrimination.” Support was even lower among young white people, only 21% of whom supported the policy. Sixty-two percent of black respondents support the policy. Support also broke down along partisan lines, with 40% of young Democrats supporting reparations, as opposed to 14% of young Republicans.
Methodology: This Fusion 2016 Issues Poll was conducted by landline and cell phone interviews March 2-15, 2016, among a random national sample of 1,045 adults age 18 to 35. Results have a margin of sampling error of 3.5 points for the full sample, including the survey’s design effect. The margin of sampling error is 4.5 points for the 530 white people surveyed, 7.0 points for the 225 Hispanic people and 9.0 points for the 135 black people.
This survey was produced for Fusion by Langer Research Associates of New York, with sampling, data collection and tabulation by SSRS/Social Science Research Solutions of Media, Pennsylvania. Read the full analysis of the poll from Langer Research Associates here. See methodological details here.