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Government and Politics




Hiram poll results on young voters and the president
Mr. Obama remains popular with younger voters, but not so much
by WKSU's M.L. SCHULTZE
and SIMON HUSTED
This story is part of a special series.


Web Editor
M.L. Schultze
 
In The Region:

On-going polling  of young voters shows most continue to support President Obama, but by no-where near the comfortable margin of four years ago. WKSU' M.L. Schultze has more.

SCHULTZE on young voters and Obama

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Hiram College is conducting a year-long study of young voters nationally. The June measurements show the majority – 57 percent -- of voters  age 18-29 say President Obama has met or exceeded their expectations.

 Count Amy Howard – a 27-year-old history major at Kent State – among them.

“He’s definitely met my expectations. I think a lot of people discredit what he’s done because a lot of it’s not immediately helpful to the general public. People look at things like gas prices and think the president should be immediately responsible for lowering them. And that’s the thing that people are measuring the presidency by, when there are really a lot of things going on behind the scenes especially with healthcare that he has pushed forward and made ... happen.”

And the numbers also show President Obama with a 13-point margin among  young voters over his likely GOP challenger, Mitt Romney. But four years ago, Mr. Obama led John McCain by 33 percentage points among young voters.  


Here's a summary of the June results provided by Hiram College:

 1.      President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 13 points among registered voters surveyed (and by 14 points among likely voters). While Obama is doing better among young voters than he is among voters nationally (an average of nationwide surveys now give Obama a 1-2 point lead), his advantage over Romney is much smaller than his Election Day performance in 2008, when he defeated John McCain by 33% among voters under 30.
These data provide strong evidence that Obama has important work to do to shore up his support among younger voters––this is especially true among white voters under 30, a constituency Obama now loses by 6 points.

2.      The Democratic Party is now viewed favorably by 56% of voters under 30, the same as it was in the January survey.
It should be noted that 50% of independents view the Democratic Party favorably.

3.      The Republican Party is now viewed favorably by 42% of young voters, that’s down 3 points since January.
It should be noted that 33 percent of independents view the Republican Party favorably.

4.      A majority of voters surveyed, 57%, say Obama has met or exceeded their  expectations as President  while 38% say he’s fallen below expectations.

5.  The Democratic Party is clearly seen as the party that best understands the problems of people under 30.
The Democratic Party is also clearly seen as the party that will make education more affordable; the party that will make sure Social Security and Medicare will be available for Generation Y; and the party that has the best plans to create jobs for young people entering the work force.
On which party has the best policies to improve the economy, however, Democrats have a narrow 3-point lead over Republicans.
Republicans are seen as the party that will best protect America’s ability to compete with other countries around the world and as the party that will bring down the federal budget deficit.

6. Voters surveyed are consistently split on who has the ability to strengthen the economy and create jobs:
Obama and Romney tie, as do the two parties.
A slightly greater amount of young voters (+4 percent) say small businesses over large businesses and 6% more say government over private business.

7. Voters under 30 are much more optimistic about nation’s future than pessimistic, although the level of optimism (now 63%) is down a little from January, when it was 68%.
Democrats are more optimistic (73%) than Republicans (52%) and independents (59%).

8.  Respondents were a little less optimistic about the future of the economy than the future of the country in general (58% vs. 63%).

9.  87% of voters under 30 believe a college degree gives people a better chance to make more money –– although only 45% said a “much” better chance while 42% said a “little” better chance. Only 11% said it would not give them a better chance.

10. 85% of voters under 30 believe a college degree gives people a better chance of having a meaningful career that uses their best talents ––50% said a “much” better chance while 35percent said a “little” better chance. 

11.  72% of voters under 30 believe that by the time they retire it is likely that the Social Security system won’t be able to pay full retirement benefits––43% said “very” likely while 29% said “fairly” likely.

12.  A majority of voters surveyed (57%) oppose universal public service while 36%, especially blacks, Democrats, and respondents in the South, support it.

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