46% of the 15 to 34 crowd believes young people can have at least moderate effect on the government, a recent poll from May shows — compared to 37% in March
What a difference a couple of months makes.
Forty-six percent of people aged 15 to 34 believe young people like themselves can have at least a moderate effect on what the government does, according to a poll released this week by MTV and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. That marks a nine-point jump from their March poll, when 37% of young folks held that view.
The shift over time in the Youth Political Pulse survey was especially marked among people 15 to 22 years old, who expressed that sentiment at a rate of 48% in the most recent poll — compared to two months earlier, when that proportion stood at 33%. The first survey was conducted Feb. 22 through March 9; the more recent one was conducted between April 23 and May 9.
In the interim, the AP notes, student activists from Parkland, Fla., and beyond have kept the conversation around gun-safety reform alive in headlines — and continued mobilizing fellow young people to register to vote ahead of this year’s midterm elections.
Thirty-four percent of 15- to 34-year-olds in May’s poll said they thought elected public officials cared at least a moderate amount what they thought, compared to 25% back in March. But the poll also showed disenchantment: A small majority of young people were pessimistic about the United States’ future, according to the survey, while four in 10 said they’d felt anxious or angry about the state of the union during the last month.
“We found that young people feel pretty negative about the state of the government, but there is some optimism,” Trevor Tompson, vice president for public affairs research at NORC, said in a statement.
“After recent protests and demonstrations, more young people, 34 percent vs. 25 percent, say elected officials care at least a moderate amount about what people like them think. Also, 46 percent believe people like them can affect the government at least a moderate amount, more than the 37 percent who did in March. Their opinions appear to be in reaction to recent events.”
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