Democrats fear ‘outraging’ young voters over TikTok, GOP experts say: ‘Bowing to the progressive mob’

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Democratic lawmakers who oppose legislation targeting TikTok do so because they fear “outraging” and losing young voters, Republican experts told Fox News Digital. 

The House of Representatives recently passed a bill requiring TikTok to divest itself of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) control or face a ban in the U.S. in a largely bipartisan 352-65 vote. The bill would block TikTok in the U.S. if its parent company, the Beijing-based ByteDance, does not divest from it within 165 days of passage.  

Critics have long raised concerns about the social media app being a national security threat. They fear the Chinese government can exploit its influence over ByteDance to obtain sensitive user data, even in the U.S., which the company has denied.

Democrats who oppose the legislation do so because it could hurt their efforts to mobilize young voters — a critical demographic that tends to swing their way, Republican critics say.


Mike Pence in blue shirt, dark blue blazer

Former Vice President Mike Pence says Democrats fear outraging young voters by targeting TikTok. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

“The Democrats are letting voter demographics be the moral compass of their party,” former Vice President Mike Pence, founder of Advancing American Freedom, told Fox News Digital. ‘They’ve abandoned Israel for Michigan voters, and many are refusing to support the legislation on TikTok that would disentangle it from the CCP, for fear of outraging young voters.” 

“Congress must work to pass this legislation as soon as possible to protect the data of Americans from the growing threat of the Chinese Communist Party,” he said. “National security extends beyond Nov. 5.”

A Republican strategist who spoke on background with Fox News Digital echoed Pence’s sentiments, adding that some Democratic politicians have acted hypocritically during the process.

“Democrats are opposing a TikTok ban, not because it’s bad legislation, but because it’s a useful political tool,” the GOP strategist said. “TikTok is a total national security threat, and you’re seeing hypocritical Democrats like [Rep.] Ruben Gallego, for example, in Arizona, tout national security, all while voting to protect the CCP app.”

In the House, the bill mainly faced opposition from progressive lawmakers such as Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Maxwell Frost of Florida, Jamaal Bowman of New York, Cori Bush of Missouri and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. 

In total, 50 Democrats and 15 Republicans opposed the House bill.


Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., talking to media

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., answers questions from reporters outside the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 28, 2023. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

“This is another classic case of Democrats bowing to the progressive mob instead of doing what’s right for the country,” Heritage Action executive vice president Ryan Walker told Fox News Digital. “Conservatives have been consistent for years when it comes to TikTok, warning that it’s a Chinese spy tool that puts the CCP in the pockets of 170 million Americans.”

Chuck Schumer, the Democrat leader of the Senate, called for the forced divestment of TikTok from the CCP in 2020. Now that a bipartisan bill to do just that passed the House with 350+ votes, he won’t commit to putting it on the floor in the Senate,” Walker said. “The only things that have changed since then are the party of the person in the White House and their desire to get him re-elected.”

The bill could also put President Biden in a bind. In early February, his re-election campaign joined TikTok to woo young voters after the administration banned the Chinese-owned app from federal devices over security concerns.

“TikTok is espionage and propaganda tool powered by the CCP and aimed at 170 million American users,” Michael Lucci, founder and CEO of State Armor Action, told Fox News Digital. “That’s why the House legislation to ban Chinese ownership of TikTok passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority, and President Biden himself has said he would sign the bill if it made it to his desk.”

“It is our hope that Senate Democrats will join their party colleagues in the House and Executive Branch and do what’s right for the American people, which is to divest China’s greatest propaganda tool into an American company,” Lucci said. “We are committed to educating the public on the dangers of TikTok and will continue to push for meaningful action to safeguard the security of our nation.”

State Armor Action recently launched a multimillion-dollar campaign aimed at TikTok.

Meanwhile, a slim majority of Americans back the bill. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found that 51% support the legislation, while 41% support an outright national ban. A plurality of voters, 47%, said they oppose the latter move.



A spokesperson for TikTok said the bill is a “ban.” (Fox News Digital )

Younger Americans, however, are far more likely to defend TikTok. Among 18- to 34-year-olds, 60% opposed the House legislation, while 35% supported it. 

“This process was secret and the bill was jammed through for one reason — it’s a ban,” a TikTok spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “We are hopeful that the Senate will consider the facts, listen to their constituents, and realize the impact on the economy, 7 million small businesses, and the 170 million Americans who use our service.”

Many Republicans have resisted using TikTok due to data security concerns, while an increasing number of Democrats have adopted the platform.


A States Newsroom analysis from last year found that at least 32 members of Congress — all Democrats except for one independent — had TikTok accounts. At least half of those members either “currently sit or have previously served on committees dealing with foreign affairs, the U.S. military, investigations and national security.” 

Fox News Digital’s Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.

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