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Youth Dems and GOP love tech and want it to stop

(the Generation Lab/ Cyrus Beschloss)


Key findings

- Bipartisan majority (51%) think the Government should regulate Big Tech more

(52% of Dems, 43% of GOP)

- 77% believe social media companies have too much influence in politics today

(96% of Republicans, 70% of Dems)

- 62% of respondents think Biden should pursue major legislation even when it has no Republican support

- 57% of Democrats consider Joe Biden to be the leader of the party


Overview: Technology is an extension of youth brains, for better or for worse. Despite the almost chemical bond, young people recognize the issues with tech companies.

  • What's new: We found that young people, across most demographics, want to regulate Big Tech more. That's despite the hours-per-day young people spend roaming social media on their phones.

So what: Firstly, it's a display of radical self-awareness (or subconscious acknowledgment) that young people who adore technology, also think its major players need to settle down. It's also rare to see such consensus across political affiliation on any issue.

But: Young Dems and young Republicans are coming from different angles. Young Dems are generally horrified by the hate speech strewn across social media, and young GOP'ers are mad that tech companies sometimes remove inciting or violent speech.

Axios/Generation Lab poll | n=852 | Jan. 22-25

Full top-lines

1- "Do you approve of the way Joe Biden is handling his job as President?"

  • Approve: 81%

  • Disapprove: 19%

2 - Do you approve or disapprove of the way Donald Trump handled his job as president?

  • Approve: 20%

  • Disapprove: 80%

3 - What are your overall feelings about the Biden-Harris Administration? (Select ALL that apply)

  • Optimism: 64%

  • Relief: 55%

  • Pride: 24%

  • Anxiety: 22%

  • Disgust: 9%

  • Anger: 5%

4 - With President Biden's emphasis on unity, should he pursue sweeping legislation when it has no Republican support?

  • Definitely should: 21%

  • Probably should: 41%

  • Probably should NOT: 27%

  • Definitely should NOT: 11%

5 - Irrespective of who you voted for, who will you look to as the leader of the Democratic Party (AMONG DEMS):

  • Joe Biden: 57%

  • Bernie Sanders: 13%

  • Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: 9%

  • Kamala Harris: 10%

  • Nancy Pelosi: 7%

  • Pete Buttigieg: 1%

  • Joe Manchin: <1%

6 - Irrespective of who you voted for, who will you look to as the leader of the Republican Party? (AMONG GOP)

  • Donald Trump: 57%

  • Mike Pence: 19%

  • Mitch McConnell: 17%

  • Mitt Romney: 5%

  • Nikki Haley: 1%

  • Josh Hawley: 1%

7 - How has your political engagement changed over the last 4 years?

Reading the news

  • More often: 68%

  • As often: 19%

  • Less often: 13%

Talking about politics with friends

  • More often: 71%

  • As often: 16%

  • Less often: 15%

8 - How much should major tech companies be regulated by the government?

  • More: 51%

  • As much: 38%

  • Less: 11%

9 - Social media companies have ______ power and influence in politics today.

Too much: 77%

About the right amount: 22%

Not enough: 1%


This study was conducted from January 22nd to January 24th from a representative sample of 852 students nationwide from 2-year and 4-year schools. The Generation Lab conducts polling using a demographically representative sample frame of college students at community colleges, technical colleges, trade schools and public and private four-year institutions.

We choose respondents using an exhaustive list of all post-secondary institutions in the United States, and - in random order - engage students through a combination of methods to give any student at each school as equal a chance of being surveyed as possible, including students at HBCU’s, women’s-only colleges, tribal colleges and technical colleges.

This approach mitigates biases resulting from a non-random approach. The final frame used in our polling closely resembles a probability sample of college students in the United States.


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