The Harvard Public Opinion Project conducts a biannual poll examining the political opinions and civic engagement of young Americans ages 18 to 29. Each semester, under the guidance of IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe, members of the Harvard Public Opinion Project brainstorm and write the questions for the poll, analyze the collected data, and present key findings to the media and other interested parties. Since its inception in 2000, the Harvard Public Opinion Project has provided the most comprehensive look at the political opinions, voting trends, and views on public service held by young Americans. The results of the poll have been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, NPR, Fox News, POLITICO and dozens of other media outlets around the world.
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.
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, engagement with, and representation of young Americans. To learn more about our two decades of polling data, check out the Youth Poll results page or contact Cathy Sun.
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.