Sine Institute Polling Project

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Nearly half (49%) of respondents say they are not satisfied with the current state of US democracy. However, 76% remain optimistic about the possibility of dramatic change through collective action.

Sine Institute Polling Project

Young Americans Cite Respect, Dignity, Tolerance as Core Values, New Poll Reveals

New Survey Offers Insights into Policy, Democracy, and Political Discourse

At a time of increasing political polarization and divisions, a new poll by the Sine Institute for Policy & Politics at American University offers a positive outlook for the future of American democracy, public policy, and political discourse. The survey of 3,144 young adults between the ages of 18 and 34, conducted by YouGov on behalf of the Sine Institute, revealed that young Americans place a premium on treating others with respect, dignity, and tolerance, and that they are confident that they and their peers have the power to sustain and improve the nation's institutions.

The Sine Institute worked with an advisory group of AU graduate and undergraduate students from across the university to help design the poll, formulate its questions, and provide feedback on the survey methodology and results. The Sine Institute Research Student Advisory Committee was comprised of six students majoring in Data Sciences for Political Science; Political Communication; Justice, Law, and Criminology; National Security; Foreign Policy; and International Relations. The student committee also offered suggestions for further research topics.

Main Results

Youth perspectives on policy, politics, and public service.

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Young Americans and Policy, Politics, and Social Change

Young Americans are dissatisfied with democracy - and almost half say they are very dissatisfied.

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Young Americans, the 2022 Midterms, & Policy Preferences

Young Americans believe change happens both by their own actions and by the ballot box

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The Way Forward: Who Do Young Americans Trust and Admire?

Young Americans put their trust in community leaders, not politicians or businesses

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The Values and Experiences that Shape Young Americans

Treating people with respect, dignity, and tolerance is a hallmark of this generation

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Young Americans and Feelings Toward Social Media

Young people are sophisticated users of social media who both enjoy the positive side of social media and keep their eyes open to the dangers of these platforms

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Read Toplines

For full crosstabs, contact the Sine Institute at