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Sweet blog special: Harvard's Institute of Politics poll puts Obama, Giuliani ahead with 18-24 age group. Poll shows youthful gender gap between Obama, Clinton.

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WASHINGTON--Overall Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Rudy Giuliani are preferred among likely youthful (ages 18-24) voters, according to a new national poll by Harvard University's Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

The poll shows a youthful gender fault line emerging: while Obama leads Clinton among Democratic men, 43 percent to 20 percent, chief Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton leads Obama 35 per cent to 29 per cent with young Democratic women.

This from Harvard's Institute of Politics...

Obama, Giuliani Lead Pack in Race for President Among 18-24 Year-Olds, Harvard Poll Finds

Foreign Policy Issues, Particularly the War in Iraq and Genocide in Darfur, of Top Concern to Young People Today

WASHINGTON, April 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new national poll by Harvard University's Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, finds former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and U.S. Senator Barack Obama as 18-24 year-olds' first choices for President in 2008 among likely young voters of both parties.

Regarding the mood of the country, less than one-third (31%) of young people say they approve of the job George W. Bush is doing as President, and nearly six in ten young people (59%) believe the country is "off on the wrong track" while only thirteen percent (13%) believe the country is headed in the "right direction." On issues facing the nation, half of young people today (50%) say that either "Iraq," "the War," the "War on Terror" or "domestic security" is the most concerning national issue, with no other issue registering higher than six percent (6%).

"As our new poll shows foreign policy issues -- especially the War in Iraq and the crisis in Darfur -- are the issues of greatest concern for young people as they consider the next election," said IOP Director Jeanne Shaheen. "Political parties and candidates looking for success at the polls in 2008 should take notice."

"In the seven years we have been conducting this national poll, we have seen a marked difference in political engagement and attitudes of young people," said IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe. "From the thirty-one percent increase in youth voter turnout from 2000 to 2004 to the 2006 upset victories of Senators Tester and Webb, younger voters are making a difference."

The online survey of 2,923 18-24 year old U.S. citizens conducted between March 8 and March 26, 2007 finds --

-- Young Democrats favor U.S. Senator Barack Obama for President in 2008,
with gender, race, and the college vote playing key roles. Although
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton leads U.S. Senator Barack Obama and former
U.S. Senator John Edwards in most national polls (42%, 24%, 17% -
Gallup, 3/23-25/07), more than one-third (35%) of likely 18-24 year-old
Democratic voters say Senator Obama would be their first choice for
President in 2008, followed by Senators Clinton (29%) and Edwards (9%).
On college campuses, Senator Obama enjoys an even greater lead over
Senator Clinton (41%-24%), but his lead is reduced to only three
percentage points (33%-30%) among 18-24 year-old Democrats not enrolled
in a four-year college.

While Senator Obama leads Senator Clinton by over twenty percentage points among young Democratic men (43%-20%), Clinton leads Obama by six points (35%-29%) among young Democratic
women. More than half of young Democratic African-Americans favor
Senator Obama over Senator Clinton (53%-23%), while half of young
Democratic Hispanics favor Clinton over Obama (50%-21%).

-- Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani leads challengers among young
Republicans, but the college vote cuts into his lead. Former New York
City Mayor Rudy Giuliani not only leads Senator John McCain and former
Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in most national polls (34%, 22%,
13% - Gallup, 3/23-25/07), the mayor also leads among the Republican
youth electorate. More than three in ten likely 18-24 year-old
Republican voters said their first choice for President in 2008 would
be Mayor Giuliani (31%), a number almost double that favoring Senator
McCain (18%) and more than three times that naming former Governor
Romney (8%) as their first choice. However, while Mayor Giuliani's
percentage-point lead over Senator McCain grows slightly among non-
college youth, his double-digit advantage over McCain narrows only to
eight percentage points on college campuses (Non College: Giuliani 31%,
McCain 16%; College: Giuliani 29%, McCain 21%).

-- President Bush's approval rating still dropping, as young people
continue to feel the country is on the wrong track. Less than one-
third (31%) of young people say they approve of the job George W. Bush
is doing as President, down one percentage point (32%) from this past
fall. Following recent trends, young people also continue to feel the
country is on the "wrong track" rather than headed in the "right
direction." Nearly six in ten (59%) young people believe the country
is on the "wrong track" (down one percentage point from fall 2006 IOP
poll findings - 60%), while only thirteen percent (13%) believe the
country is headed in the "right direction," down five points from fall
2006 IOP polling (18%). This sentiment is also reflected among young
Republicans: nearly four in ten (39%) likely Republican voters aged 18-
24 say the nation is "off on the wrong track," with only three in ten
(30%) saying we are going in the "right direction" and thirty-one
percent (31%) not sure.

-- Fifty percent (50%) of young people say Iraq, War, and domestic
security are overwhelmingly their number one concerns today. Asked in
an open-ended question for the "national issue" that concerns them
most, half of 18-24 year-olds (50%) report that "Iraq" (29%), "the War"
(14%), the "War on Terror" (4%) or "domestic security" (3%) concerns
them the most. No other single issue registered more than six percent
(6%) of the vote.

-- Almost one-in-five young people say the situation in Darfur, Sudan
should be the next foreign policy priority for President Bush. Nearly
one-in-four young people feel the next foreign policy priority for
President Bush should be "stabilizing Iraq" (24%), but "dealing with
the genocide in Darfur, Sudan" is a close second (17%). No other
issue, including "fighting the war on terrorism" (6%), "dealing with
North Korea's weapons program" (5%) or "dealing with Iran's nuclear
energy program" (5%) registered more than six percent (6%) of the vote.

-- Young people support a more multilateral U.S. foreign affairs stance.
Nearly three out of four 18-24 year-olds (74%) believe the United
States should let other countries and the United Nations take the lead
in solving international crises and conflicts.

-- Nearly six in ten young people believe the U.S. should withdraw some or
all troops from Iraq. When asked "What should the U.S. do now?"
regarding the situation in Iraq, nearly six in ten 18-24 year-olds
(58%) favor either decreasing the number of troops (29%) or removing
all U.S. troops (29%) from the country. Two in ten young people say
the U.S. should either increase the number (11%) or maintain current
troop levels (9%) in Iraq.

Harvard students designed the poll, in consultation with Kennedy School lecturer David King and IOP Polling Director John Della Volpe, whose firm SocialSphere commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct the survey. Complete results and past surveys are available online at

The Harvard Institute of Politics' 12th Biannual Youth Survey on Politics and Public Service was conducted online by Harris Interactive among 1,440 U.S. citizens ages 18 to 24 years old enrolled in 4-year colleges and universities, and 1,483 U.S. citizens ages 18-24 not enrolled in 4-year colleges and universities. The study was fielded between March 8 and March 26, 2007. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, household income and region for these populations were weighted where necessary to bring them in line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online. With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 2,923 one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/3 percentage points. Sampling error for data based on sub-samples would be higher and would vary. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides innovative research, insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world's largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiaries Novatris in France and MediaTransfer AG in Germany, and through a global network of independent market research firms. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at

Harvard University's Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, was established in 1966 as a memorial to President Kennedy. The IOP's mission is to unite and engage students, particularly undergraduates, with academics, politicians, activists, and policymakers on a non-partisan basis and to stimulate and nurture their interest in public service and leadership. The Institute strives to promote greater understanding and cooperation between the academic world and the world of politics and public affairs. More information is available online at

1 Comment

I am long past the 18 - 24 age and I am a woman. However, I strongly dislike Hillary and am a solid supporter of Obama.
I also happen to agree with the 18 to 24 in the questions about the country and globalization.
arrested development???

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on April 17, 2007 10:08 AM.

Sweet blog scoop: Obama speech today to be the “30,000 foot view on foreign policy.’’ UPDATE SPEECH POSTPONED. 75 minutes before delivery. was the previous entry in this blog.

Bush at Virginia Tech: "The worst day of your lives." Transcript. is the next entry in this blog.

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