WISCONSINREPORT.COM (09/27/2010) - A Rock the Vote poll reveals young voters are paying attention to the upcoming November election, and are closely attuned to pocketbook issues, including the economy, healthcare, and college costs. Fifty-six percent of those in the survey sample say they will vote for President Obama again in 2012.
An overwhelming majority still believes their generation has the power to change the country, yet many say they feel more cynical about politics than they did two years ago. However, fifty-six percent of those in the survey sample say they will vote for President Obama again in 2012.
A plurality young voters (36%) say it doesn't matter to them which party is in control of Congress. While the question of partisan control may be less important, addressing major issues like unemployment, the cost and quality of education, the national debt, sexual health and reducing our dependence on foreign oil is vital.
This voting bloc remains confident in its ability to affect change while, at the same time, it struggles to work past doubts about the political process. An overwhelming majority (83%) still says they believe their generation has the power to change our country, yet 59% say they feel more cynical about politics than they did two years ago.
In pursuit of that change, there is a strong desire among young people for current political leaders, including President Obama who they voted for at 2-to-1 rates in 2008 to deliver on the promise of change.
Favorability ratings indicate that President Obama (56%) and the Democratic Party (46%) still receive the highest marks, with the Republican Party (36%) trailing behind. Sarah Palin (28%) and the Tea Party (26%) receive lower favorability ratings.
In terms of endorsements, President Obama is more of an asset to candidates looking to energize young voters than Sarah Palin and the Tea Party. Half of young people say they are more likely to support a candidate endorsed by President Obama, while only 26% say the same about Sarah Palin (64% less likely) or the Tea Party (54% less likely).
In addition, they were more likely to back a candidate for U.S. Congress who supports investing in new technology to create jobs, seeks to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and will provide leadership on key social issues like immigration, marriage rights and sexual health education.
"Young people still embrace the primary message from the 2008 election -- believing that their generation has the ability to make change through voting," says Rock the Vote President Heather Smith. "This generation relates to candidates more than political parties, and as a result, despite voting for Obama 2-1, they are less concerned with which party will win in 2010 and instead gravitate toward the candidate who speaks most clearly and directly to their interests and concerns."
Key findings from the survey by the bi-partisan polling team of The Tarrance Group and Anzalone Liszt Research, include:
When asked party affiliation, young voters considered themselves Democrats (35%), Republicans (26%) and Independents (29%), which is down from an 18-point advantage Democrats held over Republicans in 2008.
Young voters rate the Democratic Party more favorably (46% to 41% unfavorable) than the Republican Party (36% favorable versus 50% unfavorable), but the Democrats advantage is down from a net +40 favorability (65% to 25%) prior to the last midterms in 2006, while the Republicans favorability remains about the same as 2006.
When asked whether they would prefer Democrats to keep control of Congress or for Republicans to take over, a plurality of 18 to 29 year olds say that they it doesn’t matter to them (36% versus 34% preferring Democrats and 28% preferring Republicans).
49% feel the direction of the country is on the wrong track.
86% are concerned about the influence of corporations and special interests in our political system.
59% feel more cynical about politics than they did in 2008.
77% are concerned that the U.S. will suffer another major terrorist attack.
96% are concerned about the level of unemployment in this country.
93% are concerned about the national debt.
86% are concerned about America's dependence on foreign oil.
69% are concerned that the country is failing to take action on global warming or climate change.
74% believe teaching young people about safe sex and birth control would be a better way to reduce teen pregnancy, and 69% support making condoms available in high schools.
55% support the legalization of gay marriage.
89% would be likely to support a candidate who supports increasing investment in renewable energy sources to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
57% would be likely to support a candidate who voted for the passage of healthcare legislation.
86% would be likely to support a candidate who wants to increase government grants to help make college and post-graduate education more affordable.
77% would back a candidate who supports expanding safe-sex education in schools.
70% would be likely to support a candidate who wants to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.
50% would back a candidate who supports providing illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship.
Pollsters from both parties interpreted the data to be an opportunity to connect with young people.
The full Rock the Vote 2010 Young Voter Poll and analyses from The Tarrance Group and Anzalone Liszt Research are available at www.rockthevote.com.
Rock the Vote engages young people in the democracy and builds their political power by registering, educating and turning them out to vote, by forcing the candidates to campaign to them, and by making politicians pay attention to youth and the issues they care about once in office. For 20 years, Rock the Vote has used music, popular culture, new technologies and old-fashioned grassroots organizing to engage and mobilize young people to participate in every election.
By providing young people with the information and tools they need since 1990, Rock the Vote has registered more than 5 million young people, including more than 2.5 million in the historic 2008 election.
TRUST WISCONSINREPORT.COM FOR THE REAL TRUTH
WisconsinReport.com is an independent online internet news publication not affiliated with Wisconsin Government, Wisconsin Public Broadcasting, the University of Wisconsin System, or any other entity, agency, department, network, business or organization with Wisconsin in it's name. WisconsinReport.com is a Morbizco Media Group/Morbizco, Inc., non-partisan, internet publication.
BE A FAN OF WISCONSINREPORT.COM ON FACEBOOK!
WisconsinReport.com now has a page on Facebook. We would love to have you as one of our Facebook friends. If you haven't already done so, search for WisconsinReport.com on Facebook. Then follow the Facebook link to the WisconsinReport.com page on Facebook. While you're there, Click on LIKE. You'll receive brief notifications when new WisconsinReport stories are added.
You can also find our Facebook page by going to the WisconsinReport.com website front page and clicking on the Facebook Link at the bottom left side of the website front page. OR, copy and paste this internet address into your browser's address field: http://www.facebook.com/pages/WisconsinReportcom/132641770112067