By Marie Horrigan | 6:46 PM; May. 18, 2006
The current political atmosphere makes it a tough time to be a Republican facing re-election. But a nonpartisan poll released this week indicated the GOP politicians may take an even larger — and sustained — hit among voters between the ages of 18 and 30.
“It’s a good year for Democrats, and it’s an even better year if we can get young people to vote,” Democratic pollster Celinda Lake said at a news conference Tuesday announcing the poll conducted for by the nonprofit Youth Voters Strategies, which is overseen by George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management in Washington.
Lake partnered on the survey with Republican consultant Ed Goeas as part of their long-running collaboration on the Battleground Poll series.
The survey, funded in part by the Pew Charitable Trusts, indicated that while Democrats hold only a slight lead in voter registration among “Generation Y,” the most significant advantage is in the overwhelmingly negative view Democrats and independents in this cohort have of Republicans, especially President Bush.
Combined, Republicans constituted less than a third of the respondents, with 39 percent identifying themselves as Democrats, 31 percent as Republicans, 18 percent as independents and 12 percent falling into the “don’t know, not applicable or other” category.
The non-Republican respondents overwhelmingly believe the country is on the wrong track,with 81 percent of the Democrats and 71 percent of independents stating that view. With that view shared by 32 percent of Republicans, the overall “wrong track” score covered nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all young voters who responded to the survey.