Generation Opportunity, a right-leaning group that polls youth voter sentiment, is out with a new survey this morning that reveals some troubling insight into how young Americans feel about the state of the economy.
The poll, conducted by the polling company WomanTrend, Inc. found that, out of a sample of 1,003 young adults aged 18 to 29, 89 per cent say that the poor economy is impacting their daily life, and 84 per cent of those surveyed said they have either delayed, or plan to delay, major life changes because of the weak economy.
Here are the details:
Of the 89 per cent of people surveyed who said the current state of the economy is impacting their day-today lives:
- 51% have reduced their entertainment budget.
- 43% have reduced their grocery/food budget.
- 43% have cut back on gifts for friends and family.
- 40% have skipped a vacation.
- 38% have driven less.
- 36% have taken active steps to reduce home energy costs.
- 32% have tried to find an additional job.
- 27% have sold personal items or property.
- 26% have changed their living situation.
- 17% have skipped a wedding, family reunion, or other significant social event
Of the 84 per cent who either have or will delay a major life change or purchase:
- 38% delay buying their own place.
- 32% delay going back to school/getting more education or training.
- 31% delay starting a family.
- 27% delay changing jobs/cities.
- 26% delay paying off student loans or other debt.
- 25% delay saving for retirement.
- 23% delay getting married.
The numbers are pretty staggering, and could have significant consequences for the 2012 election, according to Generation Opportunity founder Paul Conway.
“The political effect, in the short term, could be profound — an entire generation has been dealing with high unemployment for over 40 months.” Conway, a former labour Department chief of staff under George W. Bush’s administration, told Business Insider. “This isn’t a Republican or Democratic issue, it really transcends party lines.”
Conway added that the most shocking finding from the poll was that 76 per cent of young voters surveyed said that they plan to vote in the 2012 election, contradicting speculation that youth enthusiasm has waned in this election cycle.
Given that only 38 per cent of young people surveyed said that they thought their political leaders represent their best interests, that enthusiasm should alarm candidates across the political spectrum.
“The message is clear,” Conway said. “If you fail to offer solutions, and if you fail to produce results, this generation of voters will hold you accountable.”
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