Millennials grim about the future, new poll finds

Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, September 11, 2013

Young Americans have become pessimistic when it comes to their future, according to a new poll released Wednesday.

The poll, which was conducted by the polling company inc./WomanTrend for Freedomworks, found that two in three likely voters between the ages of 18-32 believe their generation will be worse off than the generation before them. As a result, nearly four in ten Millennials have had to postpone saving for their retirement or buying their own house, while 21 percent have postponed starting a family because of their financial situation.

The results aren’t that surprising considering the fact that nearly one in eight Millennials were unemployed in August. Even the U.S. Census Bureau reported earlier this month that enrollment at American colleges was down in 2012, as more and more young adults are foregoing higher education – and the thousands of dollars in student loans that come with a college education – and instead head directly into the workforce.

“The day-to-day frustrations have taken a toll on Millennials’ well-documented idealism,” the 23-page report accompanying the poll states.

Moreover, 76 percent of respondents believe that the country’s current economic conditions – including the high cost of college education, few job prospects and a lack of financial flexibility – can be changed by policies set by the federal government. It’s become very clear in recent months how dissatisfied Millennials have become with the federal government through the debate over student loan interest rates.

Even President Obama saw his star fade among younger Americans, as his approval rating dropped to a mere 48 percent among those aged 18-34 according to a CNN/ORC poll conducted in June, prompting him to embark on a two-day college bus tour throughout New York and Pennsylvania last month to regain some of that ground.

“Perhaps understandably many were swept up in the enthusiasm over President Obama. Pundits predicted a generational re-alignment towards progressivism would follow,” the report reads. “Five years later, the hope and change many young people came to expect has not materialized.”

The polling company, inc./WomanTrend interviewed 1,000 registered voters nationwide via telephone on behalf of FreedomWorks from July 29 to Aug. 5. The margin of error for the study is +/- 3 percent at a 95 percent confidence level. 

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