POLL: Millennials Could Decide 2014 Elections… If They Vote
Today, during a briefing with national media, the Youth Engagement Fund and Project New America released results from an extensive national survey of Millennials conducted by respected pollster Harstad Strategic Research. The survey’s findings make one point abundantly clear: Millennials could be the deciding factor in the 2014 midterms and that it is up to the candidates to engage, inspire, and turn them out. In other words, the U.S. Senate majority and dozens of hotly contested races up and down the ballot rests with Millennials.
“Millennials are optimistic and pragmatic. They expect a bright future but know that it’s going to be tough work getting there,” said Youth Engagement Fund director Alexandra Acker-Lyons. She continued, “Young voters are looking for candidates who are willing to address economic opportunity and pocketbook security issues — by wide margins regardless of party these are the issues that motivate Millennials.”
“The Senate majority and dozens of other close races will be decided by Millennials,” said Project New America president Jill Hanauer. She continued, “Increased young voter turnout can have a profound impact on November’s midterm election and the issues political leaders champion in the years to come.”
Dozens of organizations across the country are already putting the survey’s findings to work, helping to motivate Millennials and expand their influence in the pivotal midterm election. They have already begun targeting Millennials that are least likely to vote with messages that stress the importance of issues these young Americans care about most.
“Young people are passionate and will turn out and vote if Democrats and Republicans both start talking about the issues affecting our lives,” said Rock The Vote’s new President, Ashley Spillane. “From the right to vote to economic opportunity and equality, to solving the student loan crisis and protecting our environment— young people are committed to making the world better, and are open to making that change through voting. Leaders who campaign on these issues and bring their message directly to young people can inspire them to turn out and vote.”
Harstad Strategic Research has polled for President Barack Obama since 2002 — including his primary wins in Illinois in 2004 and in the 2008 Iowa caucuses and 8 battleground states. The firm has won 14 of its last 16 U.S. Senate races — winning in both good and bad years for Democrats. Harstad has also been victorious in 15 of its last 16 statewide campaigns for ballot measures. Dr. Mike Kulisheck and Paul Harstad conducted this Millennials survey for Project New America and Youth Engagement Fund.
The Youth Engagement Fund is a collaborative effort of individual and institutional funders to build 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 capacity and infrastructure in the youth civic engagement sector. It works with a diverse network of over 80 national, state, and local organizations and provides shared resources and direct funding to support the most impactful young voter mobilization efforts.
Project New America (PNA) is a private company that provides candidates, advocacy organizations, policy advocates, and civic engagement stakeholders with the cutting edge tools and strategies needed to understand and communicate with a rapidly changing America.
Key Findings from the Survey
National online survey of 2,004 Millennials age 18-31 conducted by Harstad Strategic Research from March 30 – April 3, 2014 on behalf of Project New America and Youth Engagement Fund.
Download the PDF’s for all the key findings:
If you’d like to discuss the survey and what organizations are doing to act on its findings, contact Karl Frisch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-681-5275.