Generation Opportunity Poll in Ohio Shows Poor Economy and Lack of Full Time Jobs Devastate Young Adults

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85 percent of Buckeye State Millennials say the poor economy forces changes in daily life, 79 percent say key life and career decisions severely compromised Only 33 percent of Ohio’s 18-29 year olds say elected leaders represent their interests and fully 81 percent intend to vote in the 2012 presidential election

Generation Opportunity

If candidates want to earn the respect and votes of young people in Ohio, they need to offer detailed solutions that allow employers the ability to create full-time jobs that lead to improved lives and better futures

Generation Opportunity, the largest non-profit, non-partisan organization in the United States engaging and mobilizing young Americans (Millennials ages 18-29 years old) on the important economic issues facing the nation, released new polling data today on Ohio young adults as the 2012 presidential election nears. Since its launch in June of 2011, Generation Opportunity has amassed a following of over four million on Facebook and is actively organizing Millennials across America through grassroots tactics, voter registration, and voter turnout efforts. Generation Opportunity has already engaged well over one hundred and thirty thousand Ohio young adults through its social media and field operations.

“Young adults in Ohio are paying a very steep personal price for the poor economy and economic policies coming out of the White House that are crushing the creation of full-time, meaningful jobs under the weight of higher taxes and ever-expanding regulations. Every day, across Ohio, young people are forced to cut back on basic purchases such as groceries and gifts for family members, to change living conditions and move back in with their parents, to find extra work and even sell their personal possessions. Their dreams of buying homes, going back to school, starting families, paying off student loans, getting married, and advancing their careers have been absolutely devastated. They know they are getting a raw deal and are intensely frustrated with elected leaders who once promised change, but have instead created a status quo that is even more bleak and limits the prospect of independence while pushing greater dependency,” said Paul T. Conway, president of Generation Opportunity and former Chief of Staff of the U.S. Department of Labor. “Our survey confirmed what we have heard on the ground and online for well over a year – if candidates want to earn the respect and votes of young people in Ohio, they need to offer detailed solutions that allow employers the ability to create full-time jobs that lead to improved lives and better futures. However, if elected leaders come to Ohio and stubbornly defend policies that have already proven to be a failure and harmful to young Americans, this generation will not hesitate to make their voices heard in November and demand change. They know America can do better, and they have the confidence to act.”

For Generation Opportunity, the polling company, inc./WomanTrend, conducted a statewide online survey of 507 Ohio adults ages 18-29 between July 27 and August 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.


  •     85% of Ohio’s 18-29 year olds changed some aspect of their day-to-day lives because of the current state of the economy (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):

o    55% - reduced entertainment budget;
o    43% - cut back on gifts for friends and family;
o    43% - reduced grocery/food budget;
o    38% - skipped a vacation;
o    38% - driven less/relied more on public transit;
o    37% - taken active steps to reduce home energy costs;
o    30% - tried to find an additional job;
o    27% - sold personal items or property (cars, electronic appliances, or other possessions);
o    24% - changed living situation (moved in with family, taken extra roommates, downgraded apartment or home);
o    17% - skipped a wedding, family reunion, or other significant social event;
o    3% - Other, specified;
o    11% - None of the above (accepted only this response);
o    4% - Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).

  •     79% of 18-29 year olds in Ohio have delayed or might not do at least one major life event due to the current state of the economy (Accepted multiple responses) (Randomized):

o    42% - Buy my own place;
o    30% - Go back to school/getting more education or training;
o    29% - Pay off student loans or other debt;
o    27% - Start a family;
o    25% - Save for retirement;
o    22% - Change jobs/cities;
o    20% - Get married;
o    17% - None of the above (accepted only this response);
o    4% - Do not know/cannot judge (accepted only this response).


  •     Only 33% believe that today’s political leaders reflect the interests of young Americans.
  •     73% believe that the lack of job opportunities is shrinking the American middle class.
  •     64% of Ohio Millennials believe the availability of more quality, full-time jobs upon graduation is more important than lower student loan interest rates.
  •     81% of 18-29 year olds in Ohio plan to vote in the election for President this year.

Generation Opportunity’s social media operations and grassroots organizers and volunteers have already engaged well over a hundred and thirty thousand young people online and at various events across Ohio over the course of 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.

Field activities over the past year include the Ohio State Fair; the Fountain Square Summer Music Series in Cincinnati; the Ohio Growth Summit in Columbus; Buck-I-Frenzy at Ohio State University; Constitution Day in Cedarville; local Chamber of Commerce events throughout Cincinnati, Dayton, Dublin, Toledo, and Westerville; NCAA and NFL football games; a charity mud volleyball tournament in Dayton; and local community festivals in New Straitsville and Avon. Generation Opportunity is a member of the Chambers of Commerce in Akron, Columbus, and Dayton.

In recent months, Generation Opportunity field teams also have met with young adults at college and schools throughout the state, signing up volunteers and further expanding its growing statewide network of grassroots activists and volunteers. Generation Opportunity organizers have visited and recruited new volunteer team member at The Ohio State University, Ashland University, Bowling Green State University, Oberlin College, Otterbein University, Cedarville University, Rhodes State Community College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Ohio University, Miami University, Ohio State – Lima, and Wright State University. The organization has dozens more events planned and is providing assistance to events their volunteers are conducting within their own communities and extensive social media networks.


Generation Opportunity is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(4) organization that seeks to engage everyone from young adults, to early career professionals, college students, young mothers and fathers, construction workers, current service men and women, veterans, entrepreneurs, and all Americans who find themselves dissatisfied with the status quo and willing to create a better tomorrow.

Generation Opportunity operates on a strategy that combines advanced social media tactics with proven field tactics to reach Americans 18-29. The organization’s social media platforms – “Being American by GO,” “The Constitution by GO,” “Gas Prices Are Too Damn High,” “Lower Taxes by GO,” “Keep Texas Awesome,” “Jersey Proud,” and “We Like Small Government” on Facebook – have amassed a total fan base of more than 4 million. The pages post links to relevant articles and reports from sources ranging from the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO), to The New York Times, Th Washington Post, The Brookings Institution, The Wall Street Journal, The 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 – Generación Oportunidad – click here.

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