Rock the Vote / USA Today Millennial Poll – January 2016

Monday, January 11, 2016

Millennial Attitudes Towards Voting

  • Millennials have a complicated orientation towards voting:
    • Only a few say they are likely to vote in the Republican primaries (33%) or the Democratic primaries (42%). Only a small majority say they are likely to vote in the November general election (60%).
    • About two-thirds (63%) report having voted before, most often in the 2012 presidential election.
    • Most claim to understand the mechanics of voting with 71% know how to register and only 20% saying voting is hard.
    • However, there are mixed emotions about the efficacy of voting, with 37% agreeing “my vote doesn’t really matter” and 55% agreeing “there are better ways of making a difference than voting.”

Millennial Politics and Ideology

  • Millennials identify more as Democrats (41%) than Republicans (28%).
  • Millennials also tend to consider themselves fiscally moderate or conservative and socially liberal:
    • Economic policy 33% liberal vs. 38% conservative;
    • Foreign policy 28% liberal vs. 37% conservative;
    • Social policy 42% liberal vs. 32% conservative.

Millennials and the Issues

  • Millennials tend to be optimistic:
    • 57% describe themselves as optimistic about the future.
  • But are concerned about their opportunities to succeed:
    • The most often cited issues for millennials are the economy (35%) and education (28%).
    • Many are also concerned with foreign policy (25%), healthcare (24%) and gun laws (23%).
  • Millennials support clean energy efforts:
    • 81% agree America should transition to clean energy by 2030.
    • Only 43% agree America should keep developing fossil fuel reserves.
  • Millennials support a humane foreign policy:
    • 53% agree the US should accept refugees.
    • 51% agree that the US should be working to alleviating poverty to reduce terrorism.
    • Only 48% agree the US should commit troops in Syria.
  • Millennials want more fairness in police behavior and support more oversight of police:
    • 61% agree that police violence against African Americans is a problem.
    • 67% agree there should be community oversight of the police.
  • Millennials believe in the 2nd Amendment, but support stronger gun controls AND greater mental health spending:
    • 82% agree the US should pass a law requiring background checks for all gun purchases.
    • 58% agree stricter gun laws would help prevent mass shootings.
    • 57% agree the government should protect Americans’ 2nd Amendment rights.

These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted January 4–7, 2016 on behalf of Rock the Vote and USA Today. For the survey, a sample of 1,141 adults age 18-35 from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of ± 3.5 percentage points for all respondents and a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (n=1,141, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=5.0). Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, region, race/ethnicity and income. For more information about Ipsos online polling methodology, please go here:

About Ipsos Public Affairs

Ipsos Public Affairs is a non-partisan, objective, survey-based research practice made up of seasoned professionals. We conduct strategic research initiatives for a diverse number of American and international organizations, based not only on public opinion research, but elite stakeholder, corporate, and media opinion research.

Ipsos has media partnerships with the most prestigious news organizations around the world. In Canada, the U.S., UK, and internationally, Ipsos Public Affairs is the media polling supplier to Reuters News, the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. Ipsos Public Affairs is a member of the Ipsos Group, a leading global survey-based market research company. We provide boutique-style customer service and work closely with our clients, while also undertaking global research.

To learn more visit:

About Ipsos

Ipsos is an independent market research company controlled and managed by research professionals. Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has grown into a worldwide research group with a strong presence in all key markets. Ipsos ranks third in the global research industry.

With offices in 87 countries, Ipsos delivers insightful expertise across five research specializations: brand, advertising and media, customer loyalty, marketing, public affairs research, and survey management.

Ipsos researchers assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media and they measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos has been listed on the Paris Stock Exchange since 1999 and generated global revenues of €1,669.5 ($2,218.4 million) in 2014.

Visit to learn more about Ipsos’ offerings and capabilities.

Rock the Vote / USA Today Millennial Poll – January 2016


Chris Jackson
Vice President, US
Ipsos Public Affairs