Harvard IOP Youth Hall

Spring 2019 Poll

Ahead of tonight’s youth-focused CNN Town Hall event co-hosted by the Institute of Politics (IOP) at Harvard Kennedy School, the IOP released new findings from the Harvard IOP Youth Poll. For nearly twenty years, 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 latest Harvard IOP Youth Poll indicates young voters between 18 and 29 years old are experiencing anxiety as much as joy, don’t think baby boomer voters or elected officials care about them, and are increasingly concerned about the moral direction of the nation. 

Top findings of this survey, the 37th in a biannual series, include the following:

  • The youth vote -- especially young Democrats -- is poised to play an even more significant role in 2020 than in the 2016 presidential contest. 
  • Generational conflict between young voters and Baby Boomers is brewing. By wide margins, younger Americans do not believe that the Baby Boomer generation, especially elected officials within that cohort, “care about people like them.”

  • Protecting the environment is now central to both domestic and foreign policy agendas of young Americans.

  • Concern over the moral direction of the country rising since last presidential campaign.

  • Half of young Americans experience anxiety, and it is correlated with views related to state of our nation. 

See a detailed data visualization of the results



This poll of N=3,022 18- to 29- year-olds, organized with undergraduate students from the Harvard Public Opinion Project (HPOP) and directed by IOP polling director John Della Volpe, was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs using the KnowledgePanel Calibration approach. In this approach, the calibrating sample was provided by the KnowledgePanel probably-based sample source, while the sample to be calibrated was provided by non-probability, opt-in web panel sample sources. Interviews were conducted between March 8 and March 20, 2019. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 2.64 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Student Chair:
Richard Sweeney ‘21
Leadership Team:
Christopher MacMaster ‘19 Sofia Corzo ‘21 Will Matheson ‘21
Cathy Sun ‘22 Justin Tseng ‘22 Nicole Zhang ’22
Jaron Zhou ‘22
Gisella Carpio ‘20 Iris Feldman ‘20 Olivia McGinnis ‘20
Mikael Tessema ‘20 Rachel Slater ‘21 Kathryn Wantlin ‘21
Oliver York ‘21 Rajvir Batra ‘22 Naomi Davy ‘22
Andrew Ham ‘22 Alex Koller ‘22 Indu Pandey ‘22
Hafsa Muse ‘22 Indu Pandey ‘22 Brett Pearson ‘22
Nick Sigua Pintado ‘22