Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois on January 7, 1971 · Page 7
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Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois · Page 7

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Alton, Illinois
Issue Date:
Thursday, January 7, 1971
Page:
Page 7
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Voters, 18, unlike others ... , dan. I, 1971 A-7 By LOUIS HARRIS Now that the 18-ydar-olds have the Presidential vote, the prevailing wisdom in some quarters is that the addition of 11% milliofl young people will have rio appreciable effect on the 1972 election. The assumption behind that view is thai 18-20- year-olds are likely simply to reflect the same voting patterns as their elders. Almost all the early signs out of recent Harris Surveys of the 18-year-old vote refute this claim. Just as in 1970 the prevailing wisdom that Middle America was ready to swing sharply to the right over the law-and-order issue proved to be vastly exaggerated, so many pundits, political analysts, and politicians may be hit from the blind side in. 1972 by an 18-year-old vote that is dramatically different from its elders. The heart of the question is whether the attitudes of the 18-20-year-old group on key political issues are different from their parents and, then, whether this different is likely to be reflected in the vote the 18-year-olds cast in 1972. The following results are drawn from three separate surveys over the past two months in which attitudes of the 18-20-year-olds were compared with those of persons 50 or over: 18 — 20 YEAR OLD ATTITUDES VS. VOTERS 50 AND OVER In this Order: 18-20; 50 Plus; Difference. Percentages. Spend more money on pollution ' control 90 75 15 Help blacks achieve equality faster 60 41 19 Get all U.S. troops out Vietnam by v end of 1971 U.S.-Russia space jointly Increase federal help poor apparent about the political inclination of the newest and youngest segment of the electorate: — First, close to one out of every two young people is uncommitted to either the Democrats or the Republicans. In addition, twice as many of the 18-20 year olds view themselves as Independents than is the case among the 50-and-over group. These facts can be read to mean that neither parly can afford to take the vote of the young for granted. They also suggest the 18-20 year olds are likely to be more influenced by the issues and personalities of the 1972 campaign than by traditional political party ties. — Second, among the 52 per cent of young people with political party inclinations, the Democrat's hold almost a 3-to-l edge. NOW PAID ON PASSBOOK ACCOUNT FIRST FEDERAL 200 WF.ST MAIN ST. KAST ALTON. Federally Chartered — Federally Insured 76 52 24 should explore 75 48 25 programs to 70 55 15 Approve desegregation schools now 60 47 of 13 Student protests are healthy sign 54 21 33 Rate President Nixon good- excellent 39 51 12 College corrupts students on drugs and pornography 38 63 -25 Abolish welfare and make recipients go to work 37 47 -10 College presidents too lenient with protesters 34 69 -35 Rate Vice President Agnew good-excellent 27 47 -20 These results show a clear- cut pattern: — The 18-20 year olds feel significantly more strongly than the 50-and-over group about cleaning up environmental pollution, liquidating U.S. ground troop involvement i n Vietnam, speeding up racial integration, beefing up federal poverty programs, and reaching an accord with Russia for joint exploration of outer space. — By the same token, the 18-20 year olds are far less worried about campus protests and college administration permissiveness, much less distraught over the drug and pornography problem, less inclined to oppose welfare or demand that recipients be made to go to work, and significantly less inclined to give high ratings to President Nixon and Vice President Agnew. The most sizable gaps between the 18-20 year olds and their elders who are 50 and over can be found where issues directly involving youth are at stake. In 1970, much was made of student violence and unrest and the "permissive" approach taken to student protesters. The evidence clearly demonstrates that young people, whether college students or not, tend to close ranks behind their own generation. Of "course, the question remains whether the differences in attitudes among the young will be translated into political advantage to the Republicans or the Democrats. The Harris Survey recently asked a cross section of 1,540 previously qualified voters plus 746 18-20- year-olds: "Regardless of how you may vote, what do you usually consider yourself — a Republican, a Democrat, or what?" POLITICAL PARTY IDENTITY In this Order: Total Voters; 18-20; SO Plus. 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