The New York Times released a poll today in collaboration with CBS News and MTV concerning young people ages 17-29 and their views on virtually every political issue. Full results can be found here.
The poll found that young Americans are more liberal than the general public and more supportive of issues like universal health care and legalizing gay marriage. However, young people for some reason are more optimistic about the War in Iraq. Twenty-seven percent of young people think things in Iraq are going well, as opposed to 23% of all adults. Also, 51% of young people say that we are likely to succeed in Iraq, while only 45% of all adults feel that way.
One upbeat result is that there is a continuing trend of young voters moving away from the Republican party and towards the Democratic party. Of those surveyed, 54% said they would vote for a Democrat in 2008, and 35% consider themselves Democrats compared to only 23% who consider themselves Republican.
Another good sign is the increasing growth of the youth vote and the fact that more and more young people are paying attention to politics. According to the poll, 58% of young people are paying at least some attention to the 2008 Presidential election and 77% say that their vote will influence who is our next President. Also, 70% said that they are likely to vote in a Presidential primary next year.
What all this says to me is that there is a growing trend among young Americans to become more politically informed and active. The fact that most young voters are drifting toward the left has to be exploited by the Democrats and used to their advantage. Barack Obama has done a great job doing this, as evidenced by his large name recognition among young voters. I just hope all those young people don't become more conservative as they grow older; it would be their loss.