A new survey conducted by The Atlantic on civic engagement found some stark gaps within different age groups’ attitudes toward the utility of voting and other methods of civic engagement.
The survey shows little evidence that younger Americans will turn out at historic rates in the upcoming midterms.
Low Rates of Voter Participation from Young Americans
Just 35% of young Americans (ages 18-29), compared to 81% of seniors and 55% of all Americans, say they are absolutely certain to vote in the November elections.
The Link Between Civic Engagement and Social Change
Young Americans are less likely than seniors to say voting regularly in elections is the most effective way to create change (50% vs. 78%).
Young Americans are more likely than seniors to believe that volunteering for a group or cause (19% vs. 4%) or being active online (9% vs. 1%) are the best way to create change.
Feelings about State of Country
Twenty-eight % of young women, compared to just 18% of young men, report feeling afraid about the state of the country. Young men are more likely than young women to say they feel hopeful (20% vs. 13%) or content (12% vs. 6%).
Other Report Findings:
Seventy-two percent of Americans, including 70% of Democrats and 77% of Republicans, say they often feel like they need a break from the news. Forty-eight percent of Americans say their civic and political engagement has not changed since 2016.
Sixty-two percent of Americans, including 70% of young Americans and 52% of seniors, say they view President Trump unfavorably.
Americans are most likely to say that health care is a critical issue to them (58%), with gun policy (46%) and immigration (46%) among their other concerns.