After probably the most controversial presidential race the US has ever seen (and there have been a few of them), a new leader has been chosen. We asked 500 kids (8-13) what they thought about their new President and the results are fascinating.
They may have been too young to vote, but kids were well and truly sucked into this election. Some reactions reveal just how deeply this has affected their lives. When we asked what word they would use the describe the election result, we saw the following:
The top answer? Scary. Despite having no control over the result, or perhaps because of this, many US kids are afraid. Their eyes are wide open and they have some strong opinions.
How did kids follow the election?
Sources of information for this election continues to be a controversial topic. We also asked kids how they had followed this year’s election:
As you might expect, the majority of kids have been fed information from their parents (interestingly moms score higher than dads here). Research shows that centennials are closer to their parents than ever, citing them as their role models, above even YouTubers and teachers. An overwhelming 72% of kids told us they would have voted the same way as their parents.
53% of the kids we surveyed also followed the election at school, even though teachers have had trouble relaying details of the race due to the sheer amount of inappropriate and harmful incidents that have emerged; the ‘Trump Effect’ in schools has already been a major cause for concern. However, kids are savvy about one thing: they are watching the news with a generous pinch of salt. Only 14% of kids surveyed claimed to ‘always trust the news’, with 50% only sometimes buying what they have been told by the media.
Protecting their families
But what does this generation of US kids think President Trump should focus on first?
These results show just how empathetic this generation is. These kids are worried not primarily for themselves, but for their families and friends. They cite economy/unemployment, healthcare and equal rights as the top 3 most pressing issues to be addressed, over seemingly more dramatic choices like war, violence and gun control. When we dug deeper, some of the advice that kids would give their new President was truly revealing:
“Learn to control his temper and not talk hateful and ugly like he does. And to be nicer to women and not talk bad about their bodies. He needs to apologize to all the women.” (Girl, 9).
“Help people like us to pay bills and be able to go to doctors when sick.” (Boy, 9).
“That we are all human beings and deserve equality and respect no matter where we are or our social position.” (Boy, 12).
“Be nice, treat everybody how you want them to treat you.” (Girl, 11).
“it’s not nice to lie and when you give your word or say you will do something you should always do it my mom said so.” (Girl, 8).
The part you’ve all been waiting for – did US kids want Donald Trump to win? A mock election before polling day showed that students would overwhelmingly vote for Hillary Clinton. But when we asked kids if they were happy with the final choice, the results were a little closer:
Top advice from our youngest Trump supporters?
“Be true to your words and keep your promises.” (Girl, 11).
“Just do what your slogan states. Make America great again.” (Boy, 13).
For more information on this report or any of our studies on centennials, please get in touch.