What do young Americans think about the presidential candidates and social issues? A new public opinion study shows that the majority of young people support Democrats over Republicans. The young people also have liberal positions on several social issues.
The results of the study were published earlier this week by the New York Times newspaper. The opinion study was a joint effort by the New York Times, CBS News, and MTV, the music television network. The study was based on telephone calls to six hundred fifty-nine young people earlier this month. They were between the ages of seventeen and twenty-nine.
|Senator Hillary Clinton of New York and Senator Barack Obama of Illinois at a Democratic presidential debate in June.|
Fifty-four percent of the young Americans questioned said they plan to vote for a Democratic Party candidate for president in two thousand eight. They appeared to like two candidates the most -- Democratic Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
The study also found that many more young Americans are paying attention to the two thousand eight presidential race than the last one in two thousand four. They share with the general public a negative opinion of President Bush. Only twenty-eight percent of this group approve of the job he is doing as president.
Almost half of the young Americans questioned feel their generation will be worse off than their parents’ generation. But more than seventy-five percent of them believe the votes of their generation would make a difference in the next presidential election.
The study found that young adults share the same opinions as the general population on some issues. But they have different opinions on several issues. For example, young Americans are more likely than the general public to support a government-controlled health care system for all Americans. The young people are also more likely to support a liberal policy on immigration.
Forty-four percent of the young Americans said they believe couples of the same sex should be permitted to legally marry. Only twenty-eight percent of the general population approve of the legalization of same-sex marriage.
Young Americans are also more likely than the general public to support legalizing the possession of small amounts of the drug marijuana.
When asked about the war in Iraq, young adults appeared to be more hopeful than the population as a whole. Fifty-one percent of the young adults said the United States is likely to succeed in Iraq. This is compared with forty-five percent of the general population.
Young Americans share the same opinions as the general public on the issue of abortion to end a pregnancy. Seventy-five percent said abortion should be available, either as it is or with greater restrictions.
And the majority of young adults agrees with the general population that global warming is a serious problem that should be a top issue for government leaders.
And that’s IN THE NEWS in VOA Special English, written by Brianna Blake. Our reports can be found on our Web site, voaspecialenglish.com. I’m Steve Ember.