Academic journal article Peer Review

New Research on College Students' Political Views

Academic journal article Peer Review

New Research on College Students' Political Views

Article excerpt

In the charged political climate surrounding the upcoming presidential election, where do college students fit in? According to new research conducted by Peter D. Hart Research Associates for the Leon and Sylvia Panetta Institute for Public Policy, American college students are politically engaged and have strong opinions about candidates and election issues, but are pessimistic, overall, about the state of the nation. These results come from the Panetta Institute s April report, "2008 Survey of America's College Students," which includes data drawn from more than 1,000 telephone and online interviews with a nationally representative sample of four-year college students.

FINDINGS

The State of the Nation

* Nearly half of all college students-47 percent-believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. Only 32 percent of students think the country is on the right track.

* Student opinion about the state of the nation becomes significantly darker with each class year-43 percent of freshmen think the country is headed in the right direction, while only 32 percent, 31 percent, and 26 percent of sophomores, juniors, and seniors agree.

* Almost two out of three (64 percent) of college students are "uncertain and concerned" about the future of the country, while 26 percent are more confident.

* "Improving the health care system" is college students' most pressing political concern, cited by 38 percent. …

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