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Old 01-30-2004, 12:08 AM   #1
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NEWSWEEK/ Bush's Secret Weapon: Young Voters

Bush's Secret Weapon: Young Voters
Though itís not clear who theyíll vote for, most 18- to
29-year-olds say for now, theyíre behind both the president and the war in Iraq


WEB EXCLUSIVE
By Jonathan Darman
Newsweek
Updated: 12:42 p.m. ET Jan. 26, 2004

Jan. 26 - Young voters are sharply divided on the economy, the Iraq war and overall approval of President George W. Bushís job performance, according to an exclusive new NEWSWEEK poll conducted among young voters, the Newsweek Genext Poll. While the near-equal partisan divide among young voters mirrors the split between U.S. voters overall, the poll also suggests that on social issues like abortion and gay marriage, 18-29 year-olds are eager to move beyond the partisan battles of the past.


Candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, most notably Howard Dean, have talked up their appeal to younger Americans as a potential strength, claiming that by reaching out to young voters they can tip the electoral scales in their favor. But among the pollís most surprising findings are data that suggest 18-29 year-olds may not be the Democratic boon Dean and others have hoped for. A majority of young voters (54 percent) say they approve of the way Bush is handling his job as president, virtually identical to the presidentís approval rating among registered voters overall.

Fifty-four percent of young voters say they approve of the presidentís handling of economic issues (with 44 percent saying they disapprove) and 57 percent approve of his handling of foreign policy (42 percent disapprove). The approval ratings donít necessarily translate into vote for Bush, however: 37 percent said they would definitely vote to reelect the president while 34% they would definitely vote to elect someone else.

Young voters who participated in the poll had a range of political affiliations with 47 percent identified as Democrats and 40 percent identified as Republican. A clear majority of young voters also seems to support the Bush administrationís policies in Iraq. Fully 60 percent say the White House made the right decision when it invaded Iraq and only 37 percent call the war a mistake. Yet while they support the military effort, young voters are concerned about its costs. A majority, 56 percent, say the Bush administrationís war on terror and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein have put a substantial burden on people under 30 while asking comparatively little sacrifice from older Americans. And while young votersí support for the war is clear, it is distinctly fractured along party lines, with 87 percent of young Republicans saying the Bush administration made the right decision compared to only 38 percent of Democrats.

At first glance, young voters' opinions on controversial social issues seem similar to those of voters overall. Voters in the 18-29 range were almost evenly divided on whether or not gay marriage should be made legal, with 50 percent supporting legalization and 47 percent opposed. There too, party affiliation heavily affected votersí decisions with 64 percent of young Democrats supporting legalization and only 31 percent of young Republicans.

Young votersí gender also seemed to affect their decision on the issue, with 58 percent of females and 43 percent of males supporting legalization. These numbers roughly matched up with some polls among all registered voters on the topic of gay marriage. But interestingly, a clear majority of young voters, 54 percent, was opposed to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage with only 43 percent supporting a constitutional ban. These numbers could indicate that while young voters arenít necessarily comfortable with the idea of gay marriage, they are hesitant to engage in a drawn-out political fight to stop it.


Indeed, voters participating in the survey appear to have an aversion to bitter conflict on social issues. As with same sex marriage, they are evenly divided on whether or not abortion should be outlawed except in instances of rape, incest or a threat to the life of the mother with 50 percent supporting a ban and 49 percent opposing. But a substantial majority, 60 percent, say they agree with the Roe v. Wade decision while only 38 percent disagree. The obvious distinction between opposition to abortion and opposition to Roe indicates that while young voters may not be altogether comfortable with abortion, they are wary of re-engaging in the fiery battles of the past.

Another interesting trend uncovered by the poll is the apparent liberalism of young Catholics. The Catholic church has reiterated its condemnations of both abortion and homosexuality in recent years and most surveys of Catholic surveys show a rightward tilt on those issues. But in the NEWSWEEK survey of voters under 29, only 52 percent agree that abortion should be outlawed in the United States, compared to 55 percent of Protestants and 66 percent of white fundamentalists. On Roe v. Wade, 59 percent of Catholics agree with the decision while only 53 percent of Protestants and 24 percent of white fundamentalists support the Supreme Courtís findings.

The distinction is even more evident on same-sex marriage. A majority of young Catholic voters, 58 percent support gay marriageís legalization, while only 38 percent of Protestants and 22 percent of white fundamentalists think gays and lesbians should have the right to wed. While a majority of Protestants and white fundamentalists, 51 percent and 73 percent respectively, support a constitutional ban on gay marriage, a mere 34 percent of young Catholics support amending the Constitution.

For the Newsweek Genext Poll, Ipsos-Public Affairs interviewed 350 registered voters aged 18 to 29, Jan. 2-18. The margin of error is plus or minus 5.3 percentage points. The poll of all registered voters was conducted January 5-7 for the Associated Press by Ipsos-Public Affairs among a representative sample of 774 registered voters of all ages 18 and above, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

© 2004 Newsweek, Inc.
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Old 01-30-2004, 10:30 AM   #2
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Like someone said in here awhile back, "I'm losing faith in the youth or our nation."
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Old 01-30-2004, 11:09 AM   #3
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Interesting.
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Old 01-30-2004, 12:23 PM   #4
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I thought it was "don't trust anyone over 30"
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Old 01-30-2004, 01:33 PM   #5
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Re: NEWSWEEK/ Bush's Secret Weapon: Young Voters

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Originally posted by STING2


Another interesting trend uncovered by the poll is the apparent liberalism of young Catholics. The Catholic church has reiterated its condemnations of both abortion and homosexuality in recent years and most surveys of Catholic surveys show a rightward tilt on those issues. But in the NEWSWEEK survey of voters under 29, only 52 percent agree that abortion should be outlawed in the United States, compared to 55 percent of Protestants and 66 percent of white fundamentalists. On Roe v. Wade, 59 percent of Catholics agree with the decision while only 53 percent of Protestants and 24 percent of white fundamentalists support the Supreme Courtís findings.

The distinction is even more evident on same-sex marriage. A majority of young Catholic voters, 58 percent support gay marriageís legalization, while only 38 percent of Protestants and 22 percent of white fundamentalists think gays and lesbians should have the right to wed. While a majority of Protestants and white fundamentalists, 51 percent and 73 percent respectively, support a constitutional ban on gay marriage, a mere 34 percent of young Catholics support amending the Constitution.




Like I've said, it's time we spoke UP and stand UP instead of being drown out and leaving our churches as if we dont' have the right to be there! Here's to reclaiming the Christian left!

sd
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Old 01-30-2004, 02:03 PM   #6
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Re: Re: NEWSWEEK/ Bush's Secret Weapon: Young Voters

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Originally posted by Sherry Darling





Like I've said, it's time we spoke UP and stand UP instead of being drown out and leaving our churches as if we dont' have the right to be there! Here's to reclaiming the Christian left!

sd
Yes!! It's *our* Church!
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Old 01-30-2004, 03:30 PM   #7
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Actually, it is Christ's church
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Old 01-30-2004, 04:22 PM   #8
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I like the idea of a "Christian left."
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Old 01-30-2004, 05:21 PM   #9
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I like the idea of Christians just being Christians....instead of franctioning themselves with labels.
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Old 01-30-2004, 05:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Actually, it is Christ's church
True. He's in charge.
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Old 01-30-2004, 05:31 PM   #11
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Christ didn't have a Church when he was around. And yet his message got through. Today, we have tens of thousands of Churches and millions of people desperately trying to find another way to God. It's something to think about.

Dread, Christians will continue to splinter forever. Aren't there something like 22,000 Protestant sects at the moment?

As for the article - I have always found Catholics to be far more liberal than many of their Protestant counterparts, but this is especially true in North America, where the Vatican's view is that many Catholics are cafeteria Catholics, they pick and choose what part of dogma they are willing to follow. I'm not surprised by the numbers revealed in the poll at all.
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Old 01-30-2004, 10:45 PM   #12
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Ehh...not in a mood to argue...

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Old 01-31-2004, 02:58 AM   #13
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Hm. Well, here's one young voter who has absolutely no intention of voting for Bush this year.

Angela
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Old 01-31-2004, 04:40 AM   #14
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gah. j.g. ballard was right.
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