New Maine Poll: 74 Percent of Young Adults Plan to Vote in Presidential Election, Only 4 Percent Will Base Vote on Charisma, Likeability

Oct 29, 2012, 07:00 ET from Generation Opportunity

Facebook called top GOTV tool as young Mainers 'Pledge to GO Vote' in the nation's newest battleground state

WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Generation Opportunity, with over 4 million fans on Facebook and direct grassroots engagement with over a quarter million young Americans, today released additional results from their comprehensive Maine-specific survey of young adults ages 18-29. The poll found that 74 percent of young Mainers plan to vote in the presidential election, only 25 percent are satisfied with elected officials in Washington, and that 82 percent believe key life decisions have been delayed by the poor national economy. The poll also found that of the "Get Out the Vote" (GOTV) reminder tools that will have an impact on young voter turnout in Maine, Facebook was ranked most effective at 42 percent. Only 9 percent of Maine's Millennials thought a phone call would be effective – a clear indication that smartphones and other mobile devices have reached a point of heavy market penetration within the demographic. Generation Opportunity has nearly 20,000 followers across the state of Maine.


In addition to the poll results, Generation Opportunity has launched the Pledge to GO Vote Campaign aimed at further increasing the already growing enthusiasm and interest among young adults to participate in the presidential election. Generation Opportunity is encouraging its supporters, their friends, and all those within their networks to Pledge to GO Vote. Read more about the initiative and sign the pledge here at

Watch the video at


  • 74% of Maine Millennials plan to vote in the election for President this year.
  • Only 25% believe that today's political leaders reflect the interests of young Americans.
  • Which will be the more important to you in casting your vote for President in 2012?
    • 54% - A candidate's position on issues and a record in public office;
    • 4% - A candidate's personal characteristics, like charisma and likeability;
    • 35% - They are of equal importance (accepted only this response);
    • 3% - Neither is important / something else;
    • 4% - Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).
  • 54% agreed they will learn more about the policy positions of the presidential candidates in 2012 than they did in 2008.


  • Which of the following, if any, would make young people more likely to vote? (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):
    • 42% - Facebook reminder message;
    • 36% - Public service announcement;
    • 35% - Text message reminder;
    • 26% - Email reminder;
    • 9% - Phone call;
    • 20% - None of the above (accepted only this response);
    • 6% - Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).
  • From which of the following sources do you get your news? (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):
    • 51% - Friends/family;
    • 48% - Network news programs;
    • 44% - Online newspapers;
    • 44% - Facebook;
    • 41% - Cable news programs;
    • 39% - Radio;
    • 35% - Print newspapers;
    • 33% - Specific websites focusing on topics that interest you;
    • 23% - Comedy news programs (The Daily Show, The Colbert Report);
    • 20% - Twitter;
    • 17% - Print magazines;
    • 16% - Online magazines;
    • 15% - Blogs;
    • 2% - Other;
    • 5% - None of the above (accepted only this response).


  • Only 26% of Maine Millennials agree with the statement "generally speaking, things in the United States are heading in the right direction."
  • 50% are not confident that America will still be a global leader in five years if the USA continues along the same path as the last few years.


  • 79% would decrease federal spending if given the opportunity to set America's fiscal priorities.
  • 71% prefer reducing federal spending over raising taxes on individuals to balance the budget.
  • 56% of Maine Millennials believe the availability of more quality, full-time jobs upon graduation is more important than lower student loan interest rates.
  • 63% say the availability of more quality, full-time jobs with health insurance plans is more important than the ability to stay on their parents' health insurance plans until they are 26.
  • 67% would increase production of domestic American energy sources like oil, natural gas, and coal if given the opportunity to set America's fiscal priorities.


  • Only 22% say that the economic policies coming out of Washington are helping them.
  • 68% of Maine Millennials believe that the lack of job opportunities is shrinking the American middle class.
  • 82% had planned to but now might delay or not make at all a major life change or move forward on a major purchase due to the current state of the economy (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):
    • 38% - Buy their own place;
    • 30% - Go back to school/getting more education or training;
    • 29% - Pay off student loans or other debt;
    • 29% - Save for retirement;
    • 21% - Start a family;
    • 20% - Change jobs/cities;
    • 16% - Get married;
    • 15% - None of the above (accepted only this response);
    • 3% - Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).


"Maine's young adults are very independent and fully observant of the issues that are impacting their lives, the lives of their friends and family, and the sustainability of their communities. They know the key decision for the 2012 election, both nationally and state-wide, centers around who is best qualified and experienced enough to push policies that allow American and Maine businesses to grow and to create more full-time jobs and opportunity for those seeking work. They look at leadership in Washington now and feel as though their concerns are not represented and that the country is headed in the wrong direction," said Paul T. Conway, President of Generation Opportunity and former Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor under Secretary Elaine L. Chao. "Between now and election day, young Maine adults will make full use of their social media networks to encourage their friends to vote for an end to the current status quo defined by meaningless, part-time jobs, periods of unemployment, and full-time jobs outside their chose career path."

Conway, a graduate of Belfast Area High School and the University of Maine, has a deep background in Maine public policy.


For Generation Opportunity, the polling company, inc./WomanTrend, conducted a statewide online survey of 401 Maine adults ages 18-29 between July 27August 14, 2012. Randomly selected online opt-in panel participants were sent an invitation to the survey via email, which included a secure link to the online questionnaire. Quotas were used to ensure the survey was representative of the larger 18-29 year old statewide population with regard to race, region, and gender. The data were NOT weighted. The overall sampling margin of error for the survey is +/-4.4% at a 95% confidence interval, meaning that the data obtained would not differ more than 4.4 percentage points in 95 out of 100 similar samples obtained.


Generation Opportunity's social media operations and grassroots organizers and volunteers have already engaged nearly twenty thousand young people online and events across Maine over the past year. They have trained student leaders on college campuses; co-sponsored trade shows, industry, and manufacturing summits; participated in street fairs and local festivals; and attended happy hours for young professionals.

Selected events where Generation Opportunity field teams and volunteers have listened to the concerns of young adults and recruited new supporters have included the Portland's Old Port Festival, Business Expo events in Bangor and Portland, the Scarborough Social, Boothbay Harbor's Windjammer Days, Campus Walk at Bates College in Lewiston, and events at Colby College in Waterville. The overwhelming concern of young adults at each of these events has been the poor national economy, as well as the lack of opportunity and high unemployment.


Generation Opportunity is the largest non-profit, non-partisan organization in the United States engaging and mobilizing young Americans (ages 18-29) on important economic issues facing the nation. Since its launch in June of 2011, Generation Opportunity has operated on a combined strategy of advanced social media tactics and field tactics to reach young Americans across the country.

Generation Opportunity is actively organizing young adults across America through grassroots tactics, voter registration, and voter turnout efforts in states like Ohio, Virginia, Maine, North Carolina and Florida, engaging over a quarter million young adults. The organization's social media platforms have amassed a total fan base of more than 4 million. Facebook pages post links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO), to The New York TimesThe Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street JournalThe Huffington Post, and The Heritage Foundation.

Read about Generation Opportunity here; visit "Being American by GO" on Facebook here, "The Constitution by GO" on Facebook here,  "Gas Prices Are Too Damn High" on Facebook here"Lower Taxes by GO" on Facebook here"Keep Texas Awesome" on Facebook here"Jersey Proud" on Facebook here, and "We Like Small Government" on Facebook here.

For our Spanish-language page – Generacion Oportunidad – click here.

Follow us on Twitter @GenOpportunity.

Matthew Faraci – 202-997-1636 | EMAIL
David Pasch – 202-230-7947 | EMAIL

SOURCE Generation Opportunity