Why Gen Z Loves Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. received more support from Generation Z than either President Joe Biden or former President Donald Trump in a New York Times/Siena College poll released this week.
Biden and Trump, both viewed as front-runners to win their party's primary contests, are facing questions about their ability to connect with young voters, a group historically known for low turnout. Gen Z tends to skew Democratic, but Biden has found himself at odds with young voters over key issues like the Israel-Hamas war and student loan relief.
Kennedy, a Democrat-turned-independent, is finding success with these voters as he hopes to topple the two-party system in the 2024 presidential election. The poll, which surveyed 3,662 registered voters across six battleground states from October 22 to November 3, found Kennedy winning support from 34 percent of voters age 18 to 29.
Gen Z's support for Kennedy may also be related to the younger set's desire to change the current political system, Meena Bose, executive dean of Hofstra University's Peter S. Kalikow School of Government, Public Policy and International Affairs, told Newsweek.
"It's less policy issues that young voters appear to be responding to, than a desire for change in the system, and that's what somewhat motivated support for Barack Obama in 2008, and Donald Trump in 2016, and now for an independent candidate," she said.
A Kennedy spokesperson told Newsweek the poll is "very significant."
"Mr. Kennedy is the number one choice for young people and independents. He draws strong support from both Democrats and Republicans, and from black, white, and Latino voters. This demonstrates a strong potential for him to unify the country," the spokesperson wrote in a statement.