Institute of Politics Spring 2018 Youth Poll

Source: Harvard Kennedy School, Institute of Politics, Spring 2018

Spring 2018 marks the 35th National Youth Poll conducted by the Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School examining the political opinions and civic engagement of young Americans ages 18 to 29. Since its conception by two Harvard undergraduate students 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. Beginning on April 10th, 2018 and continuing through the month of April, the IOP will release results from specific portions of the poll.

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.