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Poll: Virginia Young Adults Stung by High Gas Prices, Favor Increased Production of Coal, Gas, and Oil

Virginia Millennials rank energy dependency among top three national security issues as Presidential Election nears

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Generation Opportunity today released additional results from their comprehensive Virginia-specific survey of young adults ages 18-29. The poll found that 66% of Virginia Millennials would increase production of domestic American energy sources like oil, natural gas, and coal. Only 35% indicated their approval of President Obama's handling of gas prices and 48% indicated they have to spend more to go to work because of increasing gas prices. The poll also found that 78% of young Virginians plan to vote in the presidential election and only 30% think the country is headed in the right direction. Generation Opportunity has over 100,000 followers across the Commonwealth of Virginia and uses a combined strategy of social media and grassroots tactics to encourage young adults to vote. The organization has over 4 million fans on Facebook and direct grassroots engagement with over a quarter million young Americans in key states including Ohio, Maine, New Hampshire, Michigan, North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida.

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  • 78% of Virginia Millennials plan to vote in the election for President this year.
  • Only 35% believe that today's political leaders reflect the interests of young Americans.
  • 75% believe that the lack of job opportunities is shrinking the American middle class.
  • Only 26% say that the economic policies coming out of Washington are helping them.


  • Only 35% of Virginia Millennials approve of President Obama's administration's handling of gas prices.
  • How have increasing gas prices affected you in your day-to-day life? (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):
    • 53% - Don't go out as much;
    • 48% - Spend more to go to work;
    • 45% - Have cut back on entertainment expenses;
    • 44% - Have limited their leisure plans;
    • 28% - Have put off vacation;
    • 25% - Have cut back on groceries;
    • 19% - Spend more to go to school;
    • 15% - Have moved closer to work, school, or family;
    • 13% - Spend more to look for a job;
    • 13% - Have delayed paying other bills;
    • 9% - Needed to get another job to pay for gas;
    • 4% - Other;
    • 7% - Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).
  • 66% would increase production of domestic American energy sources like oil, natural gas, and coal if given the opportunity to set America's fiscal priorities.
  • When asked to rank the greatest threats to the national security of the United States, young adults in Virginia listed the following reasons: (Randomized List) (Accepted Multiple Responses)
    • 60% - The national debt;
    • 51% - Energy dependence;
    • 49% - Indebtedness to foreign nations;
    • 46% - Terrorism;
    • 37% - Nuclear capable nations like Iran;
    • 5% - Other;
    • 9% - Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).
  • 51% are not confident that America will still be a global leader in five years if the USA continues along the same path as the last few years.


  • Only 30% of Virginia Millennials agree with the statement "generally speaking, things in the United States are heading in the right direction."
  • 70% prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals to balance the budget.
  • Only 37% approve of President Obama's administration's handling of youth unemployment.
  • 80% would decrease federal spending if given the opportunity to set America's fiscal priorities.                                                                                                                                                                    

"At a time when full-time jobs are limited and America's dependence on foreign energy poses national security risks, it makes absolutely no sense to young Virginians why President Obama, through his political appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies, would interfere with the production of energy resources in Virginia and other states. Young adults in Virginia have been negatively impacted by the poor national economy, limited economic opportunities, and the lack of meaningful, full-time jobs. Increasingly, their everyday lives are further complicated by high gas prices that drain cash for groceries and increase the cost of going to go to work," said Paul T. Conway, President of Generation Opportunity and former Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor under Secretary Elaine L. Chao. "In battleground states, like Virginia, issues related to domestic energy production and high gas prices will play a key role among likely Millennial voters, especially Independents. Young voters know they are already paying the price for increased energy costs, and they reject the idea of their futures and America's security becoming even more dependent on foreign countries whose interests are often not parallel to ours."

Mr. Conway served as a Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia and worked extensively on issues related to health care reform, welfare reform, and other policy efforts designed to empower individuals through opportunity while ending cycles of dependency on government. He also served as Chief of Staff of the United States Office of Personnel Management under Director Kay Coles James.

In addition to the poll results, Generation Opportunity has launched the Pledge to GO Vote Campaign aimed at further increasing the already growing enthusiasm and interest among young adults to participate in the presidential election. Generation Opportunity is encouraging its supporters in Virginia and other states, as well as their friends and all those within their networks, to Pledge to GO Vote. Read more about the initiative and sign the pledge here at

Watch the video at

For Generation Opportunity, the polling company, inc./WomanTrend, conducted a statewide online survey of 566 Virginia adults ages 18-29 between July 27August 13, 2012. Randomly selected online opt-in panel participants were sent an invitation to the survey via email, which included a secure link to the online questionnaire. Quotas were used to ensure the survey was representative of the larger 18-29 year old statewide population with regard to race, region, and gender. The data were NOT weighted. The overall sampling margin of error for the survey is +/-4.4% at a 95% confidence interval, meaning that the data obtained would not differ more than 4.4 percentage points in 95 out of 100 similar samples obtained.

Generation Opportunity is the largest non-profit, non-partisan organization in the United States engaging and mobilizing young Americans (ages 18-29) on important economic issues facing the nation. Since its launch in June of 2011, Generation Opportunity has operated on a combined strategy of advanced social media tactics and field tactics to reach young Americans across the country.

Generation Opportunity is actively organizing young adults across America through grassroots tactics, voter registration, and voter turnout efforts in states like Ohio, Virginia, Maine, North Carolina, Michigan, and Florida, engaging over a quarter million young adults. The organization's social media platforms have amassed a total fan base of more than 4 million. Facebook pages post links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO), to The New York TimesThe Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street JournalThe Huffington Post, and The Heritage Foundation.

Read about Generation Opportunity here; visit "Being American by GO" on Facebook here, "The Constitution by GO" on Facebook here,  "Gas Prices Are Too Damn High" on Facebook here"Lower Taxes by GO" on Facebook here"Keep Texas Awesome" on Facebook here"Jersey Proud" on Facebook here, and "We Like Small Government" on Facebook here.

For our Spanish-language page – Generacion Oportunidad – click here.

Follow us on Twitter @GenOpportunity.

Matthew Faraci – 202-997-1636 | [email protected] 
David Pasch – 202-230-7947 | [email protected]

SOURCE Generation Opportunity

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