Posted in Behind the News

New survey takes pulse of young Americans

, by Lauren Easton

As the run-up to the U.S. midterm elections begins, the new Youth Political Pulse survey, by MTV with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, aims to reveal what political issues matter most to young Americans.

Demonstrators hold signs during a "March for Our Lives" rally in support of gun control, March 24, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The survey of teens and young adults provides valuable insight into the next generation of potential voters as the midterms approach. Teens as young as 15, who will be eligible to vote in the 2020 presidential election, are surveyed, as well as young people up to age 34.

“The hundreds of thousands who answered the call of young people to rally this past weekend on the issue of gun safety demonstrates their potential to sway the outcome of the 2018 and 2020 elections,” said David Scott, AP deputy managing editor for operations. “What motivates young Americans, what drives them and what might lead them to vote — or choose not to vote — is what we’re looking to identify.”

The first installment of the MTV and AP-NORC Youth Political Pulse poll, released today, is centered on feelings about President Donald Trump. It reveals widespread dissatisfaction with the president, but also finds that most think political activism and engagement have increased since the 2016 election.

Trevor Tompson, director of The AP-NORC Center and vice president for public affairs research at NORC, said of the findings:

Young people are anxious and concerned about the state of American politics. Seventy percent view American politics as dysfunctional. But it’s not all bad news. The gloom and doom could translate into engagement as we head toward the midterms. Nearly half of young people say that since the 2016 election they’re paying more attention to politics, taking a more critical look at the media, and having conversations about important issues.

AP will publish the results from several surveys of young people in the months leading up to the 2018 midterm elections on Nov. 6. Surveys will cover a range of timely political topics, including feelings about Trump, activism and disillusionment ahead of the 2018 midterms, and key issues such as immigration.