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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Young voters concerned with economy

Young voters, a strong bloc for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, are increasingly concerned about the economy, a study unveiled Wednesday showed.

According to Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, the percentage of voters under 24 whose top concern is the economy soared to 53 percent from 5 percent a year ago. Twice as many young voters trust Sen. Obama (Ill.) to handle the issue than his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

The online survey of 2,406 18- to 24-year-olds was conducted between Sept. 12 and Oct. 6 and sought to determine that age group’s general presidential choice, major concerns, and views on the vice presidential candidates. Those surveyed trusted Obama more than McCain on eight out of 10 issues.

According to the survey, more than 56 percent of young voters said they would vote for Obama, giving him a 26-point lead over McCain.

Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin has not helped McCain among young voters, the survey found. Forty percent of those voters said the inclusion of the Alaska governor on the GOP ticket made them less likely to vote for McCain, while 25 percent said it made them more likely and 35 percent said it made no difference.

On the Democratic side, 19 percent said that Obama’s decision to pick Sen. Joe Biden (Del.) as his running made them less likely to vote for the ticket, while 21 percent said it made them more likely and 60 percent said it had no effect.

The survey also found that 79 percent of potential voters in this age bracket had registered to vote, with 63 percent of registered voters saying they would “definitely” show up at the polls.

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