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Sep 18, 2019

Black Millennials and Generation Z Remain Undecided More Than Committed to a 2020 Presidential Candidate After the September Debate According to a New Black Youth Vote Poll

Poll reveals Sanders appearing to lose stronghold with millennials and Generation Z coming in 4th, Biden finishes first, Warren 2nd, O’Rourke & Castro tied at 3rd.

September 18, 2019, WASHINGTON, DC – Black Millennials and Generation Z have strong opinions about the 2020 presidential candidates and what issues matter most, according to results from a new snap poll conducted at Black Youth Vote! Presidential Debate Watch Parties in Birmingham, AL, Atlanta, Forest Park & Albany, GA; Detroit and Kalamazoo, MI; and Washington, DC---after this month’s debate. The September 12th BYV Debate Watch Poll results are available at

According to Si’Eirria Singleton-Moore, BYV Kalamazoo Michigan Coordinator, “Young Black voters are key influencers in every election. We are engaged and concerned, and many of us are parents struggling to raise young families and advance our education and careers. We understand what's at stake, and that’s why it was important to host a local 2020 Presidential Debate Watch Party. Our turnout could be the deciding factor in the election. The power to change and advance our situation is in our vote!”

Black Youth Vote September 2019 Poll highlights include:

  • Thirty-five percent of the 108 young people surveyed thought no one won the September debate. Former Vice President Joe Biden ranked first among the candidates, Warren 2nd, O’Rourke & Castro tied at 3rd.
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) slipped to fourth in Sept. Poll after ranking first in the July 2019 BYV Poll.
  • Senators Cory Booker come up at 4th with Senator Harris falling to 5th tied with Yang.
  • Health care was the most critical issue among respondents. Gun control and gun violence were second, and immigration was the third.
  • Climate change was the top issue missing from the debate according to those surveyed. Reparations ranked second, and abortion was third.
  • There was an almost unanimous agreement—97.9%—that stricter gun laws are necessary.
  • More than 81 percent of respondents viewed having a Black woman debate moderator as positive.

The September BYV Debate Watch Parties were organized by BYV national and state-based coordinators, affiliates and partners including Alabama Black Youth Vote/Alabama Coalition on Black Civic Participation at Miles College; Atlanta BYV/Georgia Coalition for the Peoples Agenda, Forest Park BYV/Georgia Stand Up, Kalamazoo MI BYV/Mothers of Hope, Detroit BWR, and the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation/BYV national team organized the DC watch party. BYV will host the next series of presidential debate watch parties on October 15, 2019.

Comments and photos from Black Youth Vote Coordinators and State Partners:

Forest Park, Georgia –Amari Foster, Project Manager, Georgia STAND-UP and BYV! GA State Partner, shared “The Atlanta BYV Watch Party was exciting! We engaged a diverse group of youth who anticipated gaining more clarity around who they might cast their vote for in the 2020 election. This debate and watch party gave them the opportunity to not only hear from the 10 Presidential Candidates, but also from their peers about common issues and things that are at the forefront of Millennials minds. Ariel Singleton, a youth leader with Georgia Stand Up, shared “The BYV watch party exemplified diversity amongst the millennial age group. It showed a prudent want to learn and discuss issues very crucial to our age group.”

Washington, DC - Darrell Coles, BYV National Project Assistant, “The Black Youth Vote! Presidential Debate Watch Parties Series are a core component of our Unity BYV #Vote4Justice Campaign---which seeks to educate, engage and mobilize Black youth to raise our voices & issues to candidates and mobilize our vote in the 2020 Presidential Election. The BYV watch parties and the poll provides a platform for our generation to share our opinions about which presidential candidates are authentically speaking to our issues, or not.”

BYV Debate Watch Party - Atlanta 9/12/19

BYV Debate Watch Party - Atlanta 9/12/19

BYV Debate Watch Party - D.C. 9/12/19

Black Youth Vote! is the youth-led civic leadership and organizing arm of The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. BYV has been engaging and training new generations of civic leaders and political activists for more than 20 years. Through BYV, students, community advocates, and young professionals gain the essential tools to help lead their communities to participate fully in the democratic process and pursue greater social and economic justice in the Black Community. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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