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Washington, DC-Despite what appears to be a neck and neck race for the White House, a new national poll of more than 4,000 high school and college students conducted by American University professor and director of its Women and Politics Institute, Jennifer L. Lawless and Loyola Marymount University professor Richard L. Fox reveals a strong preference for President Obama.
Among college students, President Obama is favored over Governor Romney by more than 30 percentage points. Among high school students, the lead narrows substantially, but still favors the president. Moreover, despite the often negative, even vitriolic tone the presidential campaign has taken, young people do not seem turned off; 87 percent of college students say they plan to vote and 88 percent of high school students report that they would vote if they were old enough.
These results are based on a national sample of 2,100 college students (between the ages of 18 and 24) and 2,166 high school students (between the ages of 13 and 17). The poll, conducted by American University / GfK Custom Research LLC, was in the field from September 27 – October 16, 2012, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.
Key Findings from the Poll of College Students:
• College students favor President Obama over Governor Romney by 30 percentage points. This lead grows to 35 points if we focus only on students who live in swing states.
• The 4 point gender gap among college students is smaller than the national average, but it grows to 10 points in swing states. This suggests that appeals to female voters by the Obama campaign in swing states are effective.
Summary of Results – College Students
|Overall||54.3 %||23.7 %||8.3 %||13.2 %|
Results are based on a national random sample of 1,023 male and 1,097 female college students, 465 of whom live in one of the nine swing states (CO, FL, IA, NH, NV, OH, PA, VA, WI). The margin of error is +/- 2.2 percentage points.
Key Findings from the Poll of High School Students:
• President Obama’s lead over Governor Romney is roughly 10 points when we focus only on 13 – 17 year olds. The lead falls to 7 points in swing states.
• No discernible gender gap exists among high school students overall. In swing states, though, female respondents are slightly more likely than male respondents to support Obama.
Summary of Results – High School Students
|Overall||45.3 %||35.6 %||6.4 %||12.2 %|
Results are based on a national random sample of 1,121 male and 1,045 female high school students, 529 of whom live in one of the nine swing states (CO, FL, IA, NH, NV, OH, PA, VA, WI). The margin of error is +/- 2.2 percentage points.
Source: American University