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The Young Democrats of America (YDA) are standing defiant against analysts’ predictions that Republicans are all but certain to win control of the House of Representatives, and potentially the Senate, in the November midterm elections, but appear unsure who should lead the party should Democrats pull off a surprising victory.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News Digital, YDA communications director Matt Royer claimed Democrats still had time to “ensure” a victory and laid out what issues he saw as the ones most likely to drive young supporters of the party to turn out to vote in the fall. However, he avoided confirming any potential support the organization might give to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to retain their leadership posts.
“It’s definitely hard to say at this moment in time. I do believe that it will be close. I know that there are a lot of folks out there who are predicting a huge sweep for Republicans. I just don’t see that happening,” Royer said when asked about the likelihood of a Republican victory.
“I know that some people have been calling it the red wave or the red tsunami or whatever they want to call it, but I don’t foresee it being a huge loss on the Democrat side. I do believe that there is still time for the Democrats to ensure victory in November, and I think that that starts with making sure that we are investing in the right places and in the right areas,” he added.
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Democrats House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer speak at an event.
Royer stressed the importance of protecting the seats Democrats currently hold through “positive messaging” from Democratic leadership, including President Biden. He explained that such messaging needed to include what the party was doing to improve their past policy accomplishments, as well as deliver on their campaign promises.
“I think that if Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader Schumer all continue to work hard to actually deliver on the things that we promised we would, I think that it would definitely make sure that we do win in November,” he said. “Do I think that is a done deal? No, I don’t. We have to work hard to get across that finish line. We can’t just let off up on the gas at any point in time.”
Despite praising the work of Schumer and Pelosi in advancing legislative priorities, Royer was noncommittal when asked if the YDA would support them to retain their respective positions in the House and Senate should Democrats keep control of both bodies.
“You know, I don’t have a firm answer on that … We are obviously very thankful for their leadership these past years,” he said. “But, of course, just like everything, I think we need to always reexamine where we’re at, and if there are other people who are looking to take up those leadership roles, we obviously will want to make sure we do our due diligence.”
President Joe Biden holds a press conference.
(Fox News )
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“If it seems to be the case that people would want to remain the same, of course we will have that conversation. But I can’t say definitely one way or the other right now. I guess we’ll just have to see what happens after November,” he added.
When asked what he saw as the main issue driving younger generations of Democrats to the polls, Royer admitted there wasn’t a particular one that stood out more than others. He argued that the issues at the forefront of voters minds more so fluctuated and were being driven by recent events in the news, such as the Supreme Court decision last month to overturn Roe v. Wade.
He explained that the decision frustrated a lot of Democrats who viewed federal elected officials as not doing enough to “protect constitutional rights” due to partisan gridlock, leading voters in the party to want to turn out to elect more members that would commit to codifying “abortion rights” into law.
Royer did note that economic issues were “a huge portion” of what was driving young Democrats to vote, but that their concern lay with economic inequalities, such as taxing the rich and generational wealth gaps, rather than issues like inflation.
Pro-life activists react to the landmark Supreme Court decision overruling Roe vs. Wade.
(Fox News Digital)
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He also acknowledged a disconnect between older and younger generations of Democratic voters when it came to the economy, citing differences in support for student loan forgiveness, with older Democrats not viewing it as “the most pressing issue of the moment.”
“Which, of course, is not always the thing you want to hear from some of these older folks when you’re trying to put together a multi-generational coalition to elect Democrats,” he said.
Royer expressed hope that more young Democrats would start running for office at the local, state and federal level, and that they would represent the progressive values of the Democratic Party, as opposed to more moderate candidates like Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas.
“We want the younger representation because the vast majority of people on Capitol Hill even are, you know, predominantly older White folks, right?” he said. “The average age of, I believe, the Senate is somewhere around like 60 to 70 years old. And even the House is even around like 40 to 50, somewhere in there.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, is seen after a meeting of the House Democratic Caucus in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, June 8, 2022.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
“I know that there are a lot of people upset with the House leadership and their support of Henry Cuellar in Texas, who is a very notable anti-abortion Democrat, and also a pro-NRA Democrat as well, and I think that those things are definitely huge no-go’s,” he added.
When asked how the YDA would rate Biden’s job performance, Royer admitted there were certain things the organization wanted “to see improvement on,” such as addressing climate change and canceling student debt, but that overall he was doing “a great job.”
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Royer didn’t say whether Biden should run for president again in 2024, but did say that the YDA would support him if he were to make that decision and become the Democratic nominee.
“We will do everything we can to make sure he gets re-elected,” he said.
Brandon Gillespie is an associate editor at Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @brandon_cg.