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New Poll: Debates Are Single Most Important Factor For Young Voters

A new poll conducted by YouGov finds that, despite the political narrative that debates rarely mean much for the actual election, the televised events are the single most important factor… for young voters.

The group surveyed 2,000 American 20-29 year-olds in anticipation of the upcoming One Young World convention. 32 percent of young voters — a plurality — answered that the debates were the most important influence on their voting decision, ahead of the news (19%) and, in last place, political ads (5%).

WHAT INFLUENCES YOUR VOTE MOST?
Debates 32%
Family & Friends 23%
News Reports 19%
Social Media 8%
Political Ads 5%

Other questions in the poll asked whether the young voters’ take the candidates’ views on abortion into consideration, and what sorts of outlets they use for accessing news and information. Full results below:

PLAN TO VOTE:
Yes 72%
No 14%

VOTE:
Obama 49%
Romney 19%

DID YOU WATCH CONVENTIONS?
Neither 46%
Both 34%

ABORTION RIGHTS:
Support 56%
Oppose 30%

DOES CANDIDATE’S ABORTION POSITION INFLUENCE YOUR VOTE?
Yes 48%
No 38%

MAIN SOURCES OF CAMPAIGN NEWS?
TV News 59%
Web 47%
Newspapers 39%
Facebook 33%

SHOULD FUNDERS OF POLITICAL ADVERTISING BE DISCLOSED?
Yes 82%

TAX THE 1% MORE?
Yes 60%

The One Young World convention will be held this week in Pittsburgh, Pa., and is the largest international gathering outside of the Olympics or the United Nations. It has been called the “Young Davos” for its gathering of 1,500 young leaders from around the world. Former President Bill Clinton will deliver the event’s keynote address.

One Young World founder and Havas Worldwide CEO David Jones says of the poll results: “It’s significant that so many young people are committed to voting and paying attention to tonight’s debate, a message to both candidates that they are a key audience with the power to influence the outcome of the election.”

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