Hiram College

Half of young voters aged 18-29 have a favorable opinion of President Obama, and slightly more favor him over any current Republican candidate in the 2012 Presidential campaign. The same group of likely voters have unfavorable opinions of both the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street movements, and a significant majority would like to see an independent candidate in the race for the White House.

Those are only a few of the surprising results contained in Hiram’s Garfield Institute for Public Leadership’s nationwide survey of young voters, released today. The survey is the first of several planned as part of the Institute’s “Listening to Young Voters” project that will be gauging attitudes and opinions of this crucial demographic from now until November.

Young people, aged 18-30, turned out in unprecedented numbers for the 2008 Presidential race, and are credited in part with propelling president Obama into the Presidency. But three and a half years later, are they still as engaged as they were? What are the issues that concern them, and will they be a factor again? Are government and the political parties in touch? And are the economy and jobs the most important issues in young voters’ lives?

These are questions The Garfield Institute is asking,  and today will begin to answer. The other key findings and the complete survey results, and commentary by Jason Johnson, Scholar in Residence at the Institute, and a nationally known expert on campaigns and elections, are available at the Garfield Institute’s website.