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Disillusioned with Tradition: Gen Z’s Road to the 2024 Election

Young Voters are Dissatisfied with the Political Status Quo, but Remain Committed to Democracy

PHOENIX (July 3, 2024)- ASU’s Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy (ASU CISD) designed and analyzed a study of Gen Z voters in Arizona, conducted by Noble Predictive Insights (NPI), that reveals a generation that is deeply frustrated with the current political system, yet highly motivated to participate in the upcoming 2024 election.


This survey was conducted from May 8-24, 2024 and surveyed 1,315 Arizona registered voters aged 20-30 years old, yielding a margin of error of +/-2.7%. ASU CISD’s full report on this data can be found here.


Nearly half (49%) of respondents are registered Independents. About one-third identify as Hispanic/Latino.


The poll revealed a high level of intended participation in the upcoming election, with 66% of respondents saying they will “definitely” vote in 2024 and another 29% indicating they will “possibly” vote.


Political Attitudes Towards the Two-Party System

One of the most striking findings of the poll is the high level of dissatisfaction with the current two-party system. 80% of respondents feel the major political parties are “out of touch” with people their age, and 68% disagree that “the current political system works for my generation.”


Despite this frustration, there is a strong belief in the power of voting and the democratic process. 69% of respondents believe their vote can “change things for the better” and there’s overwhelming support (95%) for equal access to voting regardless of party affiliation. Additionally, 80% of respondents believe there should be more choices on the ballot besides Democrats and Republicans.

ASUCISD voting attitudes


“Arizona’s Gen Z voters are sending a clear message that they are dissatisfied with the political status quo. They’re rejecting traditional party affiliations in favor of a more independent stance,” said Thom Reilly, professor and co-director for ASU CISD. “Still, they haven’t given up on the democratic process. They are looking for alternatives and believe in their power to affect change through voting.”


Key Issues

Significant majorities rate several of the issues asked about as “very” or “extremely” important. Cost of living (90%) and affordable housing (86%) top the list for young voters, followed by about 8 in 10 who say protecting the water supply, healthcare, and fair elections are top concerns. Around three-quarters care greatly about jobs and reproductive rights, and about 7 in 10 are concerned with homelessness, protecting democracy, and public safety/gun violence.


ASUCISD top issues


“Understanding these priorities is crucial for any candidate or party hoping to engage with Gen Z voters. These young Arizonans are deeply concerned about their economic futures, but they’re also engaged with broader social issues like healthcare access, election integrity, and reproductive rights,”  said Jacqueline Salit, co-director, ASU CISD.


Ballot Initiatives

The poll also questioned voters on how potential ballot initiatives might impact their turnout. Most proposed measures showed strong potential to motivate young voters – all except a measure to keep partisan primaries had a majority of all respondents saying the measures would make them more likely to vote in the 2024 general election. 

ASUCISD ballot measures turnout impact


A measure establishing a fundamental right to abortion and a measure on public education funding would make significant majorities of Democrats and Independents more likely to vote. Measures on increasing the minimum wage and eliminating partisan primaries also showed strong potential to drive turnout among Democrats and Independents. Republicans weren’t as unified in the ballot measures that would motivate them to vote – an initiative on public education funding was most compelling with young GOP voters at 48%, followed by eliminating partisan primaries (36%) and abortion access (33%). These findings suggest that focusing on ballot initiatives that resonate with young voters could play a crucial role in driving youth turnout in 2024.



Reasons for Non-Voting

Among voters who didn’t vote in 2022, the top reasons were being too busy (25%), feeling that candidates did not reflect their ideas (17%), and believing that their vote did not matter (15%). Looking ahead to the 2024 general election, among those who voted in 2022, 71% say they will definitely vote in 2024. The most common barrier among this group is “There is no one I want to vote for” (31%) followed by “It doesn’t matter who wins, nothing changes” (23%).

ASUCISD 2024 barriers to voting

Among both groups, respondents reported similar feelings about dissatisfaction with candidates and the idea that their vote wouldn’t matter, pointing to a broader issue of political disengagement and aligning with the survey’s earlier findings about frustration with the two-party system and a desire for more diverse political options.



2024 Motivators

When those who did not vote in 2022 were asked what would make them more likely to vote in 2024, 43% chose “candidates that better align with my values,” and 40% selected “candidates addressing issues that are important to me.” 

ASUCISD voting motivators


“Young voters are giving us a clear message: ‘Show me that you care about what I care about.’ The data from this survey can act as a roadmap for political campaigns and civic organizations to motivate young voters,” said Mike Noble, NPI Founder & CEO.  


Media Consumption

In an era of rapidly evolving media landscapes, young voters are getting their information from various sources. Perhaps unsurprisingly, digital sources dominate with 56% of young voters relying on social media as a frequent source for information on important issues and 48% using online news sites. Only 10% of those surveyed report frequently using print media sources like magazines or newspapers.



Looking at 2024

As Arizona looks ahead to the 2024 elections, this ASU CISD poll provides valuable insight into the mindset of Gen Z voters in the key swing state. While frustrated with their options in the current political system, these voters remain engaged and optimistic about their ability to affect change.


Campaigns need to focus on being issue-based and targeted in order to mobilize the younger demographic. These poll results truly underscore the importance of not just getting young people the polls, but genuinely engaging with their concerns.

“What we’re seeing is a generation that’s rejecting political labels and traditional party loyalties. They’re independent-minded, issue-focused, and deeply committed to their principles,” said Thom Reilly. “Any candidate or party that hopes to succeed with these voters will need to speak to their unique concerns and values and engage with them on the digital platforms where they’re getting and communicating information and opinions,” added Mike Noble.





Methodology: This poll was conducted via live-caller and SMS text. The survey designed by Arizona State University Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy (ASU CISD) and conducted by Noble Predictive Insights from May 8-24, 2024 and surveyed 1,315 Arizona registered voters aged 20-30 years old, yielding a MoE of ±2.7%. The sample was weighted by ethnicity, party, and education to accurately reflect the 20-30-year-old voter population of Arizona. Numbers may not equal 100% due to rounding.


Media Contact:

Thom Reilly, ASU CISD,, (702) 809-1092

Mark Scarp, ASU, 


About Arizona State University Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy (ASU CISD): The Center for an Independent and Sustainable Democracy at Arizona State University aims to foster and support thoughtful, innovative research, policy briefs and forums around the state of American Democracy. The two-fold focus is on exploring nonpartisan governmental reforms, and a deep dive examination of the independent voter. Learn more about ASU CISD here.


About Noble Predictive Insights: As a nonpartisan public opinion polling, market research, and data analytics firm, Noble Predictive Insights exists to transform how leaders make decisions by delivering data-based solutions and predictive insights that provide a clear path forward. We bridge the gap between research and strategy with customized strategic research, a hyper-focus on impact, and being true partners with our clients. Noble Predictive Insights (formerly OH Predictive Insights) is a 2023 Inc. 5000 fastest-growing company in the Southwest region, and is ranked in the top 15 most accurate pollsters as well as in the top 5 for lowest average bias in the 2021-22 election cycle by FiveThirtyEight. For more information, please call (602) 641-6565 or visit our website at


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