IOP Poll: Young Americans rank politicians, money in politics, other factors as responsible for America's problems

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."