We surveyed our audience to ask how they're feeling ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. And spoiler: They’re not feeling great. A majority of Skimm'rs said they don't think the country is headed in the right direction. And they're more dissatisfied with the way things are going than the general population. (Though most still plan to vote.)
One reason for the grim outlook: More than 80% of Skimm'rs said things have gotten worse for women. (No surprise, considering SCOTUS's ruling on abortion rights.) And only 54% said they feel the elections will have a significant impact on the country overall. But those aren't the only drivers. Here's what else they had to say.
Midterms are causing some Skimm'rs anxiety, while others feel hopeful.
Almost 65% of our audience told us they were feeling anxious about the midterms. Millennial women especially reported feelings of anxiety as Election Day (Nov. 8) looms near. But 41% reported feeling hopeful — this was particularly true for Skimm'rs who identify as Republicans.
Meanwhile, some Skimm’rs are saying ‘no thanks’ to election season altogether.
Nearly 10% of Gen Z Skimm'rs said they are unlikely to vote.
With Gen Z Skimm’rs feeling more apathetic than other generations toward the midterms — almost 10% said they are unlikely to vote come November. (Which is nearly double from last year’s survey.) And a number of reasons could be influencing their attitude — like not having enough info. More than 60% of Gen Z who said they're unlikely to vote said they don’t feel informed enough to cast a ballot and feel like their vote won’t matter.
This rings true for millennial Skimm'rs too. 40% of millennials who said they are unlikely to vote said they don't feel informed enough to cast a ballot.
For those who are headed to the polls, the majority of millennial and Gen Z Skimm’rs agree that a candidate’s general political stance and having a clear platform is most important when voting. Which could explain why hot ticket issues (like abortion) are top of mind for these Skimm’rs.
Reproductive Rights remain the top issue for Skimm’rs.
One year ago, our audience told us that reproductive rights and healthcare were their top priorities in the 2022 midterm elections. And while nearly all Skimm’rs still say that reproductive rights remains their top issue, a lot else has changed.
Now, Skimm'rs say voting rights is number two on their top issues list. And considering that a number of 2020 election deniers are running for office, it comes as no surprise. Especially with some running for seats that control a state’s election process.
Gender equality took the third spot, with 61% saying it is extremely important that a candidate aligns with their views on this topic.
Rounding out the list in spots four and five are gun regulation and safety and school safety.
But while all Skimm’rs surveyed agree that these are their top five issues, what ranks first differs per generation. For millennial Skimm’rs, reproductive rights, gender equality, gun regulation and safety, voting rights, and racial equality are most important. But for Gen Z, racial equality, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, voting rights, and jobs and the economy are top of mind.
This could partly be a product of how millennial and Gen Z Skimm’rs consume their news. Over 60% of Gen Z Skimm’rs turn to social media for their news, while nearly 60% of millennial Skimm’rs go the more traditional route and rely on major newspapers for their info.
But regardless of how Skimm'rs are consuming their election content — they all reported that their lives have been impacted by the political climate. Over 40% of Gen Z Skimm’rs said that they’ve stopped following someone or blocked them on social media. While 35% of millennials told us they’ve been surprised to learn the perspectives of their family and friends.
Skimm'rs are speaking up about how the midterm elections have them feeling. And while it's not all roses, many (think: 95%) are heading to the polls on Nov. 8 to make their voices heard.
PS: At theSkimm we're making casting your vote easier. Use this tool to check what’s on your ballot before you vote.
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