How did Gen Z Vote in the 2022 midterm elections?


Generation Z is officially ready for political & social change. By exceptionally making their voices heard and showing up in record numbers for the 2022 midterm elections, the upcoming adults of the world are showing more interest in change than their elder generations. Far too often, Generation Z voters are ostracized by their older counterparts for their distaste with the categorizing of “Republican” or “Democrat” or their growing criticism for political leaders, but are seldom praised for their dedication to practicing their civic duty of voting. Not all of Generation Z is eighteen years of age yet, meaning they’re not of legal age to vote in the United States; however, it will become the largest voting bloc in 2024 alongside millennials. As times change, the elder generation will have to accommodate and become accustomed to the generation’s voting power, as their votes become outnumbered by the younger generation. So, let’s look into the voting patterns of Generation Z according to the 2022 midterm elections and see how this generation will dictate politics of the future.

In a groundbreaking manner, America elected their first Gen-Z Representative this election, 25 year-old Maxwell Frost, a Democrat from Florida who personally received a commendation from President Biden upon his winning earlier this year. Despite Frost’s win this year, not all Gen-Z political trailblazers are progressive, but also lean more conservatively like 25-year old Karoline Leavitt, former President Donald Trump’s understudy who ran in New Hampshire but lost. Unbeknownst to many, Gen Z is surprisingly open to both conservative and progressive views. The generation held a decent amount of support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in the 2016 election, as well as Bernie Sanders, the Independent progressive candidate. In the 2020 Presidential Election, about half of young Biden voters decided to vote against Trump rather than in support of Joe Biden, the democratic candidate. Although it is a truth the majority of Generation Z lean progressively, half of Gen Z categorize themselves Independent. According to Samuel J. Abrams, the reason being because, “There is no party which represents their views reasonably well.” 

A seemingly pessimist & uncertainty coupled with optimism & activism, an emotional awareness and growing rates of anxiety & depression, and a moral relativism coupled with compassion and a strong social concern is why Generation Z has earned the title of being a “paradox”, by many older generations. Youth today harbor a skepticism for political power in the United States that no other generation has held before. Being born in the late 90s and 2000s during the emergence of technology & the internet, the generation has learned to navigate social media and internet savvy which has exposed them to the worldwide web that exposes them to new ideas and scandals & hypocrisy of politicians and leaders today. According to the research conducted by the Barna Group in the book Gen Z Volume 2, fewer than one in ten Gen-Zers trust the media “a lot”,  and less than one in five say they trust public education or the US government. Generation Z doesn’t seem like a generation to blindly follow leadership, but challenge and question it, separating them from their parents or grandparents generation. 

On November 8th, 2022, the midterm elections occurred in the United States, in which Generation Z made their voices heard. Politically, Generation Z votes similarly to their elder generation, Millennials. According to the preliminary results from exit polls, 65% of Gen Z voted to protect abortion access. 70% of young people believe abortion should be legal in “all or most cases”, whereas 30% of Gen Z believe abortion is morally wrong. Other statistics regarding Gen Z’s political perspectives include 45% percent of youth viewing capitalism negatively which oppose the 51% percent viewing socialism positively. This distaste regarding capitalism likely stems from growing wealth inequalities, corruption in large corporations, and the market’s expanding monopolies. Criticism towards capitalism also stems from environmental concerns, a growing issue for Gen Z, as 4 out of 5 young peoples express concerns & care for the environment, no matter the political alignment. In the 2022 midterms, the preliminary results from exit polls indicated that 61% of Generation Z voted for democratic candidates; whereas, 36% voted for candidates representing the GOP (Republican Party).

Generation Z is the future. Therefore, knowing the motives behind why and who Generation Z votes for proves beneficial, because it allows us to foresee the future of American politics in the United States. No matter the criticism or claims of overt-sensitivity, Gen Z’s is the generation getting stuff done; making sure their changing beliefs and stances on politics are heard.

Said best by nineteen year old American teenager Kaleb Purswell,

“They [older generations] think we are turned off by politics. In reality, we are just done with the way our government is being run.”

— Kaleb Purswell