can be seen in The ARIS 2013 National College Student Survey done by Barry A. Kosmin and Ariela Keysar, who are public policy research professors and the authors of the renowned ARIS survey series since 1990.
I received a press release on this several days ago, from which I quote several things:
The surveyed students, ages 18 to 29, attend 38 colleges and universities from across the U.S., including so-called Red and Blue States. Twelve of the institutions are located in the South, 12 in the Northeast, eight in the West and six in the Midwest. Fourteen of the colleges and universities are private; 24 are public. A random sample of emails was taken from each schools list. The sample is fairly representative of todays four-year college students. Fifty-nine percent of the respondents were women and 28 percent were members of minority groups, including African Americans, Latinos, Asians and some who described themselves as other.In an email exchange with Professor Kosmin, I sought clarification on how students participating were selected. In the following, TK is my question, BK is his answer:
Asked their political party affiliation, 42 percent said they are Democrats, 26 percent said independent and 19 percent said Republican. Thirteen percent said other or dont know. However, when asked their ideological philosophy, 32 percent identified themselves as liberal, 17 percent said conservative and an identical 17 percent said moderate. Twelve percent said progressive, 6 percent said libertarian and 15 percent said other or dont know.
TK -did the colleges/universities make a selection from their lists of student emails, or did those doing the survey?
BK - WE MADE SELECTION from lists in public domain
TK -What if any procedures were in place to ensure true random selection?
BK - 2 stage - we chose colleges stratified for type & region with lists in public domain We created 4 lists- General, Asian surnames, Hispanic surnames, African-Am surnames True random might need to be random so a trade off.
TK - what refusal rate if any was there among those who were contact? And did that vary by institution?
BK - Response was remarkably uniform 12-14% across waves - rate based on those opening message.
We had right balance of women & year of study We were more concerned at getting diversity i.e. representativeness- than randomness
BK - These days in most surveys given declining response rates there's more of a psychological than a demographic skew.
So why do I say the future for Republicans is bleak? Well, consider some of the results from the survey (below the cheese-doodle):
On question if statement "Economic inequality is a major issue in the U.S, today" is true or not,
Very True 54.5%
Somewhat True 30.9%
Remember, most Democrats want to at least acknowledge this, where as any hint of attempting to address is is usually labeled "class warfare" by Republicans
On whether "Woman must defend their reproductive rights" is true or not
Very True 53.0%
Somewhat True 26.9%
We know where the two parties stand on this issue, and the problem is being made worse for Republicans with the bevy of new state legislation restricting choice
Please note a phenomenon - that the distribution of answers that are at least somewhat true on both of these questions versus what you will see as either somewhat or very untrue creates a ratio that is GREATER than the Democratic v Republican or Liberal v Conservative ratios in the sample, so it is NOT being distorted by oversampling of Democratic/Liberal students. And also remember this - I explained the selection process so that you can see it is a representative sample of students at the institutions surveyed, which include geographic diversity, as well as diversity of types of institutions, from elite liberal arts colleges in the Northeast (for example, my alma mater Haverford) to large state universities in more conservative areas (University of Arkansas, Utah State).
Continuing with some of the results:
On this next I will give the complete distribution: "Affirmative action in college admissions should be abolished"
Completely Agree 15.0%
Mostly Agree 19.3% agreement totals 34.3
Mostly Disagree 24.6%
Completely Disagree 17.1% disagreement totals 41.7%
Not Sure 23.9%
While responses on this are proportionally closer to the Democrat/Republican and Liberal/Conservative ratios, this is an issue that still demonstrate that despite the heavily white percentage of respondents is not conducive to the ways Republicans have been addressing issues of race and immigration.
And in case you are wondering about how many college students want to follow the thinking of the likes of Paul Ryan and other aficionados of Ayn Rand, when asked about agreement to the statement "I have a personal responsibility to help those worse off than myself" note the responses
Completely Agree 39.2%
Mostly Agree 43.9% total agreement 83.2%
Or perhaps, given Newtown, you might be interested in their response to the statement "the federal government should do more to control the sale of handguns" -
Completely Agree 45.4%
Mostly Agree 23.9% agreement totals 69.3%
Mostly Disagree 13.0%
Completely Disagree 11.8%% disagreement totals 24.8%
Not Sure 5.8%
On this, there is little doubt that Republicans and their NRA supporters are on the wrong side of an issue that has real potential to be exploited.
And on a matter of current interest: "Do you believe that same-sex marriage should be legalized nationally?" there were only 3 possible responses, which broke out as follows:
Yet Republicans still keep trying to fight this losing battle, legislatively and in the Courts, thereby further alienating young people
You should read the entire survey.
Students are not hopeful about either the economy as a whole or their personal economic futures. That is the warning sign for Democrats, because the real question will be whether we can get these young people to vote.
But if we can, the troubles for Republicans are going to get much worse.
Look at the entire survey.