Generation Z: The Voting Generation

By BNC Marketing

Actionable Insights for the News Media, Political Parties & Candidates, and Anyone Interested in the 2020 Election

It’s in the news. It’s everywhere. Candidates are emerging and the political conversations have become louder and more intense. Election 2020 is on everyone’s mind, including the college student subset of Generation Z.

Gen Z has come of age – voting age, that is. The oldest members of this group will be 24 in November 2020, making many of them eligible to vote in the presidential election for the first time. In fact, this group is projected to account for one-in-ten eligible voters. Added to their intentions – 95% of college students who are registered voters intend to vote in 2020 – it yields striking implications for Election 2020.

Their time has come, and they are embracing the opportunity!

This activist, vocal generation has strong opinions about the next presidential race and clear intentions about their involvement, how they will stay informed and where they will seek out information.

This generation views the presidential election as a tremendous opportunity to fulfill the role they’ve taken on as societal change agents. They want to make their voices heard by casting their ballots on election day.

Continuing our conversations with Gen Z.

In July of 2018, Barnes & Noble College published Conversations with Gen Z, a provocative and telling replay of our candid, in-depth discussions with 18-to-22-year-olds across U.S. college campuses. It provided a revealing look into the mindset of this generation in terms of their values, priorities, and outlook on life.

Barnes & Noble College recently talked politics with them and asked 1,500 Gen Z college students about election voting, research, and political issues they believe are most important. We spoke with them about:

  • Their intentions TO VOTE and GET INVOLVED in the election.
  • How they will INFORM themselves about candidates and political issues.
  • What INFLUENCING FACTORS will potentially shape their voting decisions and political opinions.
  • How much and in what forums they will DISCUSS their political viewpoints.

What we found: The core beliefs of this generation remain steadfast.

They are empowered, activist-minded, and driven as they embrace a responsibility to make the world a better place. This includes voting in the 2020 presidential election and doing everything possible to keep themselves informed on candidates and the issues.

  • 77% are currently registered to vote. And of those registered voters, 95% plan to vote in 2020.
  • 60% who are NOT registered, plan to register before the election.

 They strive to learn about all issues, from all sides, but trust is a major issue.

Consistent with our past research, students feel it’s critical to get information from unbiased sources yet believe that it’s hard to find them.

  • 71% Actively try to learn about and understand both sides and opposing views on important political issues.
  • 75% Believe it’s hard to find informative sources that are unbiased.


Want to hear what else Gen Z says about voting, their involvement in the election, and their views of news and info sources?


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