59 percent of African-American young voters say US ‘moving in the right direction’

Jennifer White Contributor
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Despite continued high unemployment, a recent national poll shows that 59 percent of African-American voters age 19-29 feel that the country is “moving in the right direction.”

Tufts University’s youth research organization, The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement released the poll Monday.

The data reveals that while young black voters feel the general condition of the country is improving, only 23.6 percent of white youth said the country is moving in the right direction. Young Hispanic voters were the largest group to be unsure about the direction of the country.

According to the Department of Labor, the unemployment rate among African-American men over 20 years old was at 13.4 percent by September of this year, compared with 6.6 percent of white men over 20. Unemployment among African-American women over 20 was at 10.9 percent, compared with 6.3 percent among white women over 20.

Unemployment among black men and women has fallen 2.4 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively, since September 2011.

The poll shows that President Barack Obama has the lead among young voters of all subgroups, with a 17-point lead over Gov. Mitt Romney.

There is an ongoing gap between which groups of youth are going to vote in the election. According to the poll, nearly 75 percent of blacks under 30 years old say it is very likely or extremely likely they will vote in the 2012 presidential election, compared to 68.7 percent of whites and 56.6 percent of Hispanics.

The poll, administered by GfK Knowledge Networks, polled 1,695 young voters in June and July, and 1,109 of the same group of youth between Oct. 12 and 23.

Although most young people still have not been contacted by the presidential campaign, more have been contacted since the poll was conducted this summer.

18.0 percent of young Hispanic voters said they had been contacted by a presidential campaign, compared with 14.5 percent of young white voters and 15.6 percent of young black voters.

Black youth who were contacted were overwhelmingly reached on behalf of the Obama campaign, whereas white and Hispanic youth were equally contacted by both campaigns.

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