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America’s youngest voters are overwhelmingly supporting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president but a majority of them say they are “fearful” about the country’s future and do not feel hope, a Harvard poll has said. The national poll of America’s 18 to 29 year olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), at the prestigious John Kennedy School of Government found Clinton leading Donald Trump by 28 per cent. Clinton captured 49 per cent of likely young voters’ support while Trump received 21 per cent in a four-way race. In a two-way match-up between Clinton and Trump, the former Secretary of State received 59 per cent to Trump’s 25 per cent among likely voters.
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Clinton is also polling ahead of President Obama’s 2012 polling numbers among key groups within this demographic. The poll also shows that a majority of 18 to 29 year olds are fearful about the future of America, with 51 per cent of young Americans saying that feel “fearful” and only 20 per cent “hopeful”. Every demographic surveyed felt more fearful, with white women (60 per cent) and white men (54 per cent) exhibiting the most anxiety.
The poll said these concerns about the future of America are focused on the attainability of the “American Dream”. Less than 32 per cent white females believe they will be better off financially than their parents. When asked why they were fearful, one young respondent said, “Everything seems out of control, and our politicians care more about themselves than doing the right thing for all Americans. We’re extremely divided, and very few seem to have any interest in trying to unite us.”
Harvard Institute of Politics Polling Director John Della Volpe said “young voters are fearful about the future of America, and that is moving them to action. I am hopeful that the next president and leaders in Congress will empower and engage them after the election to move our country forward.” The survey found that 49 per cent of the young millennials surveyed indicated they will “definitely be voting” in this election, one point higher than the 48 per cent who indicated the same in 2012.
Notably, 51 per cent of young females indicated they will definitely vote, up from 45 per cent in 2012, while 47 per cent of young males indicated the same, down from 51 per cent four years ago. Clinton is performing better among woman, white and non-college voters, while Trump is under-performing by 17 percentage points among young Republicans.
The poll also found that an overwhelming majority of young people of color believe they are “under attack” in the US. Nearly nine in ten young African Americans and 72 per cent of Hispanics believe that “people of [their] own racial background are under attack in America”. While there is little confidence that race relations will improve dramatically under a potential Clinton administration, there was significant concern it could worsen under a potential Trump administration, the poll said.