NEWSWEEK GENEXT Poll: Young Voters: Deep Divisions


Washington, D.C. - The opinions of young voters--registered voters age 18-29--are not dramatically different from those of all registered voters on the basic political questions of Bush approval ratings and his reelection. These young voters came of political age at a moment of intense partisan divisions and divisiveness, however, and it shows. It is as if young voters believe their side, whichever side that is, is the side that is always right and the other side is always wrong, as evidenced in this GeNext Poll, conducted by Ipsos-Public Affairs. Young people are deeply divided on partisan grounds. You know--like their parents. An earlier generation defined itself by its united stand against its elders, at least if you believed the rhetoric--"Don't trust anyone over 30." This generation looks an awful lot like its elders in its overall political views, and today's younger generation is characterized by the intense partisan divisions within the generation on many issues. The GeNext Poll was conducted among a representative sample of 350 young registered voters nationwide, identified from successive waves of Ipsos polls conducted January 2-18, 2004 with representative samples of adults nationwide. The margin of error is +/-5.3 percentage points. Key Findings:
  • While most young voters (60%) think the Bush Administration made the right decision when it invaded Iraq, most (56%) also believe that most of the burden of that policy is borne by people under age 30. That burden is felt especially on the Northeast and West coasts, and among young Catholic voters. Support for the war is highest among young voters with no college experience.
  • Young voters divided evenly on the question of banning most abortions (with exceptions for rape, incest and a threat to the life of the mother). Few young voters, however, seem anxious to re-open the abortion debates that raged before they were born, prior to Roe v. Wade. By a 60%-38% margin, they support that Supreme Court decision.
  • Roe v. Wade is a wedge issue that may favor the pro-choice side among young voters. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of pro-life young voters are more likely to vote for a President who would impose an anti-Roe litmus test on Supreme Court nominees, but nearly three-quarters (74%) of pro-choice young voters are more likely to support a President who'd apply a pro-Roe litmus test to Supreme Court nominees.
  • Young voters split 50%-47% on whether same sex marriage should be legal or not, but swing voters (those who have not decided for sure whether to vote to reelect Bush or vote for someone else) favor same sex marriage by a wider 55%-41% margin. When the question moves to a constitutional amendement to ban same sex marriage, all young voters oppose the amendment by 43%-54%, and young swing voters oppose, 36%-60%.
Read the Report. For more information, please contact: Thomas Riehle President, Ipsos Public Affairs Washington, D.C. 202.463.7300 About Ipsos Public Affairs Ipsos Public Affairs, headquartered in Washington D.C., is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research company made up of campaign and political polling veterans as well as seasoned research professionals. The company conducts strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations based not only on public opinion research, but often elite stakeholder, corporate and media opinion research. It has offices in New York City, Chicago, San Ramon (CA), and Washington, with affiliates around the world. Ipsos Public Affairs also conducts national and international public opinion polling on behalf of the The Associated Press, the world's oldest and largest news organization. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based research firm. Visit us at: About Ipsos Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research group, which conducts research in more than 100 countries. Ipsos offers a full suite of research services--guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies--in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting and modeling. Member companies in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific also offer a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services. To learn more, visit: Ipsos is listed on the Euronext Paris Premier Marchй, and is part of the SBF 120 and Next Prime Indices as well as eligible to the Deferred Settlement System (SRD). Euroclear code 7329, Reuters ISOS.LN, Bloomberg IPS FP

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