Harvard Public Opinion Project

The Harvard Public Opinion Project (HPOP) brings to life the nation’s largest poll on the political opinions and civic attitudes of young Americans aged 18 to 29. For two decades, HPOP has illuminated the most comprehensive understanding of the political beliefs, voting trends, and perceptions of public service held by our nation’s youth. The initiative is spearheaded by undergraduate students, who brainstorm and write poll questions, evaluate survey data, and share crucial findings with members of the press, elected officials, as well as activist and political groups. Beyond the biannual Harvard Youth Poll, HPOP also engages in qualitative research, from publishing op-eds of insights on our fellow youth to conducting focus groups with participants worldwide. Throughout the semester, HPOP explores the spectrum of political views among youth and strives to spotlight their stories, struggles, and hopes. Ultimately, we seek to overcome the apathy ascribed to our demographic by amplifying the voices of young people in political conversations and empowering our generation overall, making HPOP an impactful and unique IOP experience.

For Undergraduates:
The Harvard Public Opinion Project is comprised of a group of politically engaged students with diverse academic interests who are passionate about elevating and understanding the issues that matter to their generation. Our work starts by brainstorming and writing questions that give insight into the political opinions and civic engagement of young Americans. These questions then become our biannual poll, which provides valuable opportunities for students to interpret, analyze, and present public opinion research under the guidance of IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe. Outside of polling, students also have opportunities to engage with the qualitative dimension of public opinion. We meet on Monday evenings at the Institute of Politics. Commitment to a weekly meeting and approximately one other meeting a week is required of all members. We accept new members at the start of each semester.

For Professionals:
Since 2000, the Harvard Public Opinion Project has collected the most comprehensive dataset of the political opinions, voting trends, social media use, and views on public service held by young Americans.  We hope this research will inform governments, businesses, the media, and nonprofits in their outreach to and engagement with young Americans. To learn more about our two decades of polling data, check out the Youth Poll results page.

About The Poll:
Each semester the undergraduates involved with the Harvard Public Opinion start by brainstorming and developing questions for the poll under the guidance of IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe. Harvard Public Opinion Project surveys are conducted using GfK’s KnowledgePanel® methodology on behalf of the Institute of Politics. Depending on the poll between 2,000 and 3,000 interviews of young Americans between 18 and 29 years old are conducted in English and Spanish. The web-enabled survey is a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. 

Chaired by: Alan Zhang | alanzhang@college.harvard.edu