Every presidential election brings renewed efforts to mobilize young and minority voters to the polls. In this election, first and second-time voters have experience economic hardships unlike any other new voters in recent history.
Generation Opportunity, a non-profit, non-partisan organization, conducted a nationwide young voter survey of 1,003 adults ages 18-29 to determine where young voters stand on the economic issues which are fuelling the election.
Nearly 90% of the young voters surveyed aid the economy has affected their daily lives, but only 76% intend to vote in the election. In the wake of the recession, 32% of survey participants said they have taken a second job to make ends meet, 38% have delayed purchasing their own home or apartment, and 26% are putting off paying back student loans.
“Young Americans, through no fault of their own, know how tough it is to find full-time jobs. Their experiences over the last few years have shown them first-hand how devastating the poor economy truly is. They know that high taxes on businesses and runaway federal spending do not create jobs. The Millennial generation has suffered disproportionally from the failed economic policies offered by the White House for the past several years, and they know their careers are being delayed by the lack of jobs and high unemployment,” Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity and former Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor, said in a press release.
The survey revealed the following voting intentions and opinions among voters ages 18-29:
- 76% of Millennials plan to vote in the election for President this year.
- 38% believe that today’s political leaders reflect the interests of young Americans.
- 29% of Millennials believe that the economic policies coming out of Washington are helping them, while
- 47% of Millennials say that the economic policies coming out of Washington are hurting them.
- 59% of Millennials say they will learn more about the policy positions of the presidential candidates in 2012 than they did in 2008.
Millennial views on taxes, job creation, and federal spending:
- 69% of Millennials think more jobs would be created if business profit taxes were reduced
- 65% of Millennials think the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference.
- 65% of Millennials prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals to balance the budget.
- 61% of Millennials would decrease taxes on individuals if given the opportunity to set America’s fiscal priorities.
- 30% would increase taxes.
How the economy has impacted Millennials’ daily lives:
- 51% reduced their entertainment budget
- 43% reduced their grocery/food budget
- 43% cut back on gifts for friends and family
- 40% skipped a vacation
- 32% tried to find an additional job
- 27% sold personal items or property (cars, electronic appliances, or other possessions);
- 26% changed their living situation (moved in with family, taken extra roommates, downgraded apartment or home)
- 38% delayed buying their own place
- 32% delayed going back to school
- 31% delayed starting a family
- 26% delayed paying off student loans or other debt
- 23% delayed getting married