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Washington, D.C. – A new national poll of America’s 18-29 year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, finds waning enthusiasm for participation in the midterm elections as less than three-in-ten (27%) say they will definitely be voting in November, a drop of nine points from eleven months ago (36%).
The poll also finds a solid majority of Millennials (53%-42%) say they would prefer a Democrat-controlled Congress as an outcome of the November election. A detailed report on the poll’s findings is available on the Institute’s homepage at www.iop.harvard.edu.
“Although Millennial enthusiasm for the midterm elections seems to have slipped over the past year, recent election cycles show candidates who can motivate this critical demographic will have an important advantage in November,” said Harvard’s Institute of Politics Interim Director John C. Culver.
“In 2008, Millennials took control of their own destiny, entered the political process and changed the direction of the country,” said John Della Volpe, Director of Polling for the Institute of Politics. “Two years later, the challenges they face as a generation could not be higher. Let's hope they reverse the current decline in interest and participation, and continue the process of becoming this era's defining political force.”
The web-enabled survey of 2,004 18-29 year-old U.S. citizens with a margin of error of +/– 2.2 percentage points (95% confidence level) conducted with research partner Knowledge Networks for the IOP between September 24 and October 4, 2010 finds:
Harvard students designed the poll in consultation with IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe, whose firm SocialSphere, Inc. commissioned Knowledge Networks to conduct the survey. Complete results, which include detailed findings on immigration, the proposal to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque in downtown New York City a few blocks from the site of the World Trade Center, and President Obama’s job approval ratings on seven major issues, are available – along with past surveys – online at www.iop.harvard.edu.
Knowledge Networks conducted a study of young adults on political issues on behalf of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics. The goal of the project was to collect 2,000 completed interviews with Knowledge Networks panelists 18-29 years of age in English and Spanish. The main sample data collection took place from September 23 to October 4, 2010. A small pretest was conducted prior to the main survey to examine the accuracy of the data and the length of the interview.
Three thousand, seven hundred and fifty-six (3,756) KnowledgePanel members were assigned to the study. The cooperation rate was 53 percent resulting in 2,004 completed interviews. One hundred forty eight (148) interviews were conducted in Spanish with the remainder done in English.
The survey was conducted using the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®, a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Initially, participants are chosen scientifically by a random selection of telephone numbers and residential addresses. Persons in selected households are then invited by telephone or by mail to participate in the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®. For those who agree to participate, but do not already have Internet access, Knowledge Networks provides a laptop and ISP connection at no cost. People who already have computers and Internet service are permitted to participate using their own equipment. Panelists then receive unique log-in information for accessing surveys online, and are sent e-mails throughout each month inviting them to participate in research. More technical information is available at http://www.knowledgenetworks.com/ganp/reviewerinfo.html and by request to the IOP.
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Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, was established in 1966 as a memorial to President Kennedy. The IOP’s mission is to unite and engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policymakers on a non-partisan basis to inspire them to consider careers in politics and public service. The Institute strives to promote greater understanding and cooperation between the academic world and the world of politics and public affairs. More information is available online at www.iop.harvard.edu/.
Knowledge Networks delivers quality and service to guide leaders in business, government, and academia – uniquely bringing scientifically valid research to the online space through its probability-based, online KnowledgePanel®. The company delivers unique study design, science, analysis, and panel maintenance, along with a commitment to close collaboration at every stage of the research process. Knowledge Networks leverages its expertise in brands, media, advertising, and public policy issues to provide insights that speak directly to clients’ most important concerns. For more information about Knowledge Networks, visit www.knowledgenetworks.com.