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Poll: Virginia Independent Young Adults Focused on Jobs in 2012 Presidential Campaign

Facebook and text messages seen as most effective GOTV reminders

WASHINGTON, Nov. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Generation Opportunity today released data specifically on Independent voters from their comprehensive Virginia-specific survey of young adults ages 18-29. The poll found that 72 percent of Independent Millennials in Virginia plan to vote in the presidential election, only 30 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction, and 81 percent say key life decisions have been delayed by the poor national economy. The poll also found that of the "Get Out The Vote" (GOTV) reminder tools that will have an impact on Independent young voter turnout in Virginia, Facebook ranked first at 53 percent and text messages ranked second at 45 percent. Only 13 percent of Virginia's Independent young adults thought a phone call would be effective – a clear indication that smartphones and other mobile devices have reached a point of heavy market penetration within the demographic.


Generation Opportunity has over 4 million fans on Facebook and direct grassroots engagement with over a quarter million young Americans. The organization has over 100,000 followers across the Commonwealth of Virginia developed through social media and grassroots activities. In addition to releasing Virginia 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 Virginia supporters, 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


  • Only 26% of Independent young adults in Virginia say that the economic policies coming out of Washington are helping them.
  • Only 41% approve of President Obama's handling of youth unemployment.
  • Only 35% think that President Obama's policies have helped create jobs in Virginia.
  • 64% agree with the statement "the economy grows best when individuals are allowed to create businesses without government interference."
  • 59% agree with the statement "if taxes on business profits were reduced, companies would be more likely to hire."
  • 60% believe the availability of more quality, full-time jobs upon graduation is more important than lower student loan interest rates.
  • 61% say the availability of more quality, full-time jobs with health insurance plans is more important than the ability to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until they are 26.
  • 79% would decrease federal spending if given the opportunity to set America's fiscal priorities.
  • 73% prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals to balance the budget.
  • 64% would increase production of domestic American energy sources like oil, natural gas, and coal if given the opportunity to set America's fiscal priorities.


  • 72% of 18-29 year old Virginia Independents plan to vote in the election for President this year.
  • Only 33% believe that today's political leaders reflect the interests of young Americans.
  • Only 30% agree with the statement "generally speaking, things in the United States are heading in the right direction."
  • 56% 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.
  • 55% agreed they will learn more about the policy positions of the presidential candidates in 2012 than they did in 2008.
  • Which will be the more important to you in casting your vote for President in 2012?
    • 58% - A candidate's position on issues and a record in public office;
    • 5% - A candidate's personal characteristics, like charisma and likeability;
    • 30% - They are of equal importance (accepted only this response);
    • 4% - Neither is important / something else;
    • 4% - Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).
  • Which of the following, if any, would make young people more likely to vote? (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):
    • 53% - Facebook reminder message;
    • 45% - Text message reminder;
    • 35% - Email reminder;
    • 21% - Public service announcement;
    • 13% - Phone call;
    • 19% - None of the above (accepted only this response);
    • 8% - Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).


  • 76% of Independent Millennials in Virginia believe that the lack of job opportunities is shrinking the American middle class.
  • 81% had planned to but now might delay or not make at all a major life change or move forward on a major purchase due to the current state of the economy (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):
    • 40% - Buy their own place;
    • 35% - Go back to school/getting more education or training;
    • 34% - Start a family;
    • 32% - Save for retirement;
    • 30% - Pay off student loans or other debt;
    • 23% - Get married;
    • 22% - Change jobs/cities;
    • 19% - None of the above (accepted only this response)


"Throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, Independent young adults are making their final decisions on which presidential candidate is best prepared to implement a policy agenda that allows the economy to create more meaningful, full-time jobs. Independent voters in Virginia have a tradition of embracing candidates that offer pro-business policies regardless of party background," 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. "But in a tough economy, they know that candidates who advocate national policies such as deep defense cuts, higher taxes, and more regulations are out of sync with the best interests of Virginia and the overwhelming need to employ more young people and protect those who are already working."

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.


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. Independent voters comprised 16% of the total sample.


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 – Generación Oportunidad – click here.

Follow us on Twitter @GenOpportunity.

CONTACT: Matthew Faraci – 202-997-1636 | EMAIL
David Pasch – 202-230-7947 |

SOURCE Generation Opportunity

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