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Harvard Poll: Youth Vote Heading To Obama

This article is more than 11 years old.

A new Harvard poll shows President Obama making inroads with 18-to-29-year-olds.

According to WBUR's Fred Thys, who just reported for our Newscast unit, the Harvard Institute of Politics poll finds that over the last four months, the president picked up six points against presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, among young voters.

Obama now leads Romney among 18-to-29-year-olds by 17 points, 43 percent to 26 percent, with 30 percent undecided.

The poll's release comes as Obama is discussing education and student loan debt at three college campuses in swing states, including the University of North Carolina this afternoon.

John Della Volpe, IOP's polling director, said that Obama's campus swing is no accident.

"Those are the students that are more up for grabs because they're less affiliated with Obama," he said.

Here's more from Fred's on-air recap:

The online poll finds 18-to-21-year-olds are more conservative than older Millenials.

The poll also finds the president struggling with young white voters. Four years ago, he won them by 10 points, but now, he's losing them to Romney by four points.

And here are some more selected topline (PDF) data points from the poll of more than 3,000 (5 percent of whom live in New England), which was conducted March 23 to April 9 and has a margin of error of 1.7 percent:

-- Of those polled, 37 percent said they're Democrats, 24 percent said Republican and 38 percent said independent/middle of the road.

-- Obama's approval rating is 52 percent approval, 46 percent disapproval. But on the economy, his rating is 41 percent approval, 58 percent disapproval.

-- The economy is the most important issue to 58 percent of those polled.

-- Thirty-nine percent of those polled agree that cutting taxes is an effective way to increase economic growth, compared to 21 percent who disagree.

-- Twenty percent agree that government spending is an effective way to increase economic growth, compared to 32 percent who disagree.

-- Ten percent said they support the Tea Party, and 17 percent said they support the Occupy movement.

-- Seventy-nine percent said they don't consider themselves politically active.

-- Sixty-four percent said they'd definitely or probably vote in the 2012 presidential election.

-- Twenty-five percent said homosexuality is morally wrong, compared to 42 percent who said it is not morally wrong.

This program aired on April 24, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.

Benjamin Swasey Digital Manager
Ben is WBUR's digital news manager.



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