Washington Secrets

Poll: Angry with economy, youth vote to jump 50%

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Columnists

Younger voters, angry with the lack of jobs and a stalled economy that's cut their entertainment budget and forced many to live with mom and dad, are expected to flock to the polls in even greater numbers than 2008 when President Obama's inspirational message of hope and change drew millions to the polls.

While 51 percent of Millennials age 18-29 voted in the 2008 election, 76 percent plan to vote this fall, according to a new poll from the influential group Generation Opportunity, a 50 percent jump.

While the group did not ask who younger voters prefer in the presidential race, they are inspired no more and are clearly driven by anger over the economy and the fact that they might not have lives as good as their parents. The poll of 1,003 adults aged 18-29 was conducted at the end of July. It has an error margin of plus-or-minus 3.1 percent.

For example, 89 percent said the economy is impacting their lives: 51 percent said their entertainment budget has been hit, 40 percent skipped a vacation and 26 percent have had to change their living situation like take in roommates or move back home.

Some 84 percent said they are planning a major life change because of the economy, including delaying marriage and buying a home. And 76 percent said that the lack of job opportunities is shrinking the middle class.

"These numbers should put elected leaders on notice. What you see is a very pointed story of the impact the failed policies coming out of the White House over the course of the last three years are having on the daily lives and the long-term plans of young Americans. Frankly, it is not a pretty picture," said Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity. "It is no surprise that they plan to make their voices heard this November."

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