Gen-Y: Who are you voting for?

Summary:A new study suggests that 15 percent more of the Gen-Y will vote in the upcoming election, and 58 percent will follow the campaigns on social networks.

Conducted by Millennial Branding and Internships.com, a new study called "The Gen Y Vote" analyzes how people aged 18 to 29 view the upcoming 2012 presidential election.

vote generation y obama romney social media

Consisting of an online survey with 2,236 responses taking place in September, the firms found that more Generation Y voters are planning to come out of the woodwork in comparison to 2008. 75 percent of respondents are planning to vote this year, whereas only 60 percent decided to cast their vote in the last election.

Out of those who wish to vote, 64 percent are inclined to place themselves behind Obama, whereas only 22 percent want to vote for Romney.

In terms of the economy, the report found:

  • 61 percent feel that Obama will have a positive impact on the economy, whereas only 24 percent feel the same way about Romney;
  • 63 percent stated that the job situation has affected their vote; half of voters saying George W. Bush is to blame;
  • 21 percent said neither Obama or Bush are at fault over job security, and 20 percent say they are both responsible.
  • Will Romney's business background help the situation? According to 71 percent of Gen-Y voters, the answer is no.

44 percent associated themselves with the Democratic party, 27 percent were Independents and 17 percent declared themselves as Republican. In addition, 54 percent said they were "considering" or "very interested" in volunteering with a local campaign.

Parents, however, appear to be a strong influence in how a Gen-Y voter thinks. Aside from their own opinion, 48 percent of those polled said that parents most influence who they intend to vote for. Following this, friends and co-workers had the potential to sway their opinion -- although celebrities have no voice when it comes to this generation's voting patterns.

Unsurprisingly, 55 percent said the economy is the most important electoral issue. 14 and 13 percent respectively said education and healthcare were most important, whereas less than 5 percent cited foreign policy, immigration, same-sex marriage or the environment.

Over half of the survey respondents (58 percent) will be following the election on social networks including Twitter and Facebook. For 76 percent of the Gen-Y, television is still the main source for coverage, 55 percent will turn to newspapers and magazines, and only 23 percent will tune-in to radio. However, online news sources including blogs or news networks were not included.

In addition, less than half (36 percent) are willing to share their political opinions online.

Dan Schawbel, founder of Millennial Branding, said:

"Gen Y has become a powerful force in politics with an army of 80 million strong and will have a major impact on who wins the 2012 presidential elections. Although they feel that Obama didn't keep all the promises he made in 2008, they are willing to give him another four years to prove himself."

According to Robin D. Richards, CEO of Internships.com, Gen-Y attitudes are in constant motion. Interest in elections have surpassed 2008 by a strong margin, and potentially this is due to the expansion of social networking -- keeping members of this generation better informed, and providing a platform for communication and debate that was not matched by the previous election year.

Image credit: Todd Benson

Topics: Government : US, Social Enterprise

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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