Young Republicans ‘Hopeful’ About America’s Future

Young Republicans are more hopeful.

Young Democrats … not so much.

A new national poll of America’s 18- to 29-year-olds by Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics (IOP) shows young Republicans are looking up about the future of America by a margin of 10-to-1.

Young Democrats, on the other hand, are fearful. Independents are between hopeful and fearful, the IOP found.

What they do agree about is that civility in American politics has decreased in the past five years, the poll said. Among 18- to 29-year-olds, 62 percent said civility went south, 27 percent said it stayed the same, and 11 percent said civility increased.

Repaying student-loan debt was of particular interest to Millennials throughout the 2016 campaign, IOP said. And they remain focused on that issue after the presidential election. Over half said they’d like to see a national service program created that would help student be relieved of debt. Some academic programs offer students a discount or forgiveness if the student works in underserved areas after graduation, but no national program exists.

“We suspect that in the near future, national, state and local leaders will hear directly from Millennials on this important issue,” said Maggie Williams, director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics within the Kennedy School of Government.

The poll surveyed 771 U.S. citizens 18 to 29 years old with a margin of error of +/– 4 percentage points (95% confidence level).

Other poll results revealed that one-quarter of those polled say they are “motivated to get involved,” the IOP said.

“Taking into account the size of the Millennial generation, this signifies that approximately 14 million young Americans want to be engaged,” it said.

The poll also said 64 percent of young Americans approved of President Obama while 35 percent disapproved. Among young Democrats, Obama had a 95 percent approval; among young Republicans his approval rating was 25 percent. Independents gave the former president a 63 percent approval rating.

This poll release is in conjunction with the IOP’s National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement Conference this week that will host 60 college students from across the country to discuss community-based tactics to reconnect America.

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