Young Americans View Trump as Illegitimate President

Young Americans hold negative views of President Trump.

Young Americans hold negative views of President Trump.

According to a recent poll, the majority of young Americans see Trump’s presidency as illegitimate. The survey also showed that more than half, 70%, have negative views of Trump’s presidential demeanor.

When asked the question, “Do you think that Donald Trump is a legitimate or an illegitimate president?” 57% of all respondents answered “illegitimate.” Within that total, slightly more than half, 53%, of white respondents thought that trump was a legitimate president. However, minority respondents answered differently: 74% of African-Americans, 71% of Hispanics and 60% of Asian-Americans thought Trump is an illegitimate president.

Reasons for the perception vary. A 21-year-old Florida student still holds a memory of Trump on the campaign trail referring to Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers. The student, whose parents are from Jamaica, said, “I’m thinking, he’s saying that most of the people in the world who are raping and killing people are the immigrants. That’s not true.”

A 21-year-old student from Michigan says the way Trump was elected underlies her sense of his illegitimacy. “I just think it was kind of a situation where he was voted in based on his celebrity status versus his ethics,” she said.

The views of young Americans is of special interest since the Census Bureau has projected that around the year 2020, half of America’s children will be part of a minority race or ethnic group. The Bureau also projects that around the year 2044 non-Hispanic whites are expected to be a minority.

Respondents to the poll were 1,233 adults age 18-30 who were selected randomly using address-based sampling methods designed to be representative of the U.S. young adult population. The respondents were later interviewed online or by telephone.

The survey was conducted February 16 – March 6, 2017, as part of the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

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