NextGen America/Data For Progress Poll Reveals Young North Carolinians’ Top Concerns and Strong Enthusiasm for 2022 Election

Exclusive new polling shows strengthening the economy and canceling student debt are top priorities for 18-36-year-olds in North Carolina

Austin, TX — Today, NextGen America and Data for Progress released new research revealing strong enthusiasm among young North Carolinians to vote in the upcoming 2022 election and underscoring the importance of enacting policies to strengthen the economy, cancel student debt, boost the minimum wage and reform the criminal justice system.

Among all North Carolina residents aged 18 to 36 surveyed, 23 percent reported being more enthusiastic about voting in 2022 than usual, along with 44 percent who said they’re just as enthusiastic as usual. The data shows stronger enthusiasm among self-identified Democrats, with 33 percent saying they’re more excited to vote than usual compared to 26 percent of respondents identifying as Republicans.

“Young people in North Carolina are fired up to raise their voices and express their collective power,” NextGen America President Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez said. “Young North Carolinians turned out in record numbers in 2020, and this data shows they’re ready to do it again in 2022 — if we engage them, meet them where they are and connect on the issues that affect their lives. That’s exactly what NextGen America is committed to doing as we launch our statewide program in North Carolina.”

The NextGen America-Data for Progress poll also measured the top issues facing young people in North Carolina. As young voters look ahead to the next election, they’re sending clear signals on their top priorities and the concerns they believe our leaders should be addressing.

Leading the way is the economy. A 21-percent plurality of respondents identified “strengthening the economy” as the most important issue facing young people in North Carolina, and 56 percent said it was among the top five most important.

Young North Carolinians’ focus on economic concerns isn’t strictly limited to economic growth: 50 percent of respondents identified canceling student debt as a top-five issue, and 46 percent cited raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. Young people in North Carolina also indicated concern for reforming the criminal justice system (46 percent said it was a top-five concern) and addressing climate change and transitioning to clean energy (38 percent).

The poll’s release on Monday coincides with the launch of NextGen America’s North Carolina voter mobilization program for the 2022 election cycle and beyond.

NextGen is embarking on a $32 million voter-outreach program aimed at reaching 9.2 million voters between the ages of 18 and 35 across eight key states in 2022. In addition to North Carolina, the program calls for on-the-ground field organizing in Texas, Arizona and Pennsylvania as well as a distributed digital organizing program in Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire and Wisconsin.

NextGen formally launches the North Carolina program today with an in-person voter registration event at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte featuring NextGen America President Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez. At the event, NextGen will recruit volunteers, register young voters and educate the community about the importance of exercising their rights by voting in elections.

Members of the media are invited to attend the voter-registration event. For more information on the poll or event logistics, please contact

More information on the NextGen America-Data For Progress Poll is available here:


About NextGen America

NextGen America is the leading national organization for engaging young people through voter education, registration and mobilization. We invite 18-to-35 year olds — the largest and most diverse generation in American history — into our democracy to ensure our government works for them and to find new solutions to the dire challenges facing our society and the world. Since 2013, NextGen America has registered more than 1.4 million young voters and educated many millions more, delivering more than the margin of victory for progressives in key races and building an electorate that will lead American politics for decades to come.