Second release of data from IOP's spring poll shows politicians, money in politics, the media, political correctness, structural racism and access to higher education contributing factors
CAMBRIDGE, MA – A new national poll of America’s 18- to 29-year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the Kennedy School of Government, finds that nearly two-thirds (64%) of young Americans have more fear than hope about the future of democracy in America.
For the first time, the Harvard Public Opinion Project asked a series of questions about how responsible 18- to 29-year-olds believed different groups were for the existing problems in American politics and society today. Politicians were viewed as very or somewhat responsible by at least 7-in-10 young Americans, regardless of political affiliation. Money in politics and the media were mentioned by at least 6-in-10 Democrats, Republicans and Independents.
Young Democrats under 30 blamed politicians (77% responsible), Donald Trump (77% responsible), money in politics (75% responsible), structural racism (69% responsible) and lack of access to higher education (66% responsible) as the most significant factors responsible for the state of politics and society today.
The top five factors Republicans believe are responsible are: the media (72%), politicians (70% responsible), political correctness (64% responsible), money in politics (63% responsible), with other Americans (45%), a distant fifth.
"Young Americans are deeply concerned and fearful about our country’s future," said IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe. "There’s a healthy debate raging on the reasons why – politicians, media, big money, political correctness, and structural barriers like racism and access to education are all contributing factors in the eyes of millennials and post-millennials. Yet, there is no debate that young people are working hard to bridge these divides, finding pragmatic solutions and instilling hope for a stronger democracy."
This poll of N=2,631 18- to 29- year-olds, which was organized with undergraduate students from the Harvard Public Opinion Project, was conducted using GfK’s probability-based online sampling methodology between March 8 and March 25, 2018. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 2.54 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.
Throughout the month of April, we will be releasing additional details and poll results on topics including: gun control, the 2nd Amendment, and the NRA; the border wall, DACA, and immigration policy; sexual harassment, assault, and the #MeToo movement; use of and interest in joining the U.S. military; the opioid crisis; and public service and community service. All results can be found at http://iop.harvard.edu/spring-2018-poll.