Exclusive Rare.us Under-40 Poll Finds Young People Hold Surprising Views on Obama, Marijuana, God and More


WASHINGTON, DC – Sept. 18, 2014 – Young people would vote equally for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, overwhelmingly think alcohol is more destructive to society than marijuana, and a large majority believe that a relationship with God is important, according to an exclusive new poll conducted for Rare.

The Rare.us Under-40 is a new breed of poll that seeks to provide comprehensive information about the preferences of younger Americans. A total 556 respondents were interviewed, all of them under the age of 40. If the 2012 presidential election were held again today, 44 percent of young voters would support Barack Obama, and 44 percent would support Mitt Romney, according to the poll.

A much larger majority of young voters think alcohol is damaging. Asked whether alcohol, tobacco, or marijuana was the most harmful substance, 46 percent chose alcohol. Twenty-seven percent selected tobacco and only 13 percent said marijuana. Those numbers suggest younger Americans are upending societal conventions, which have long seen alcohol as an acceptable drug while condemning marijuana. Two states have legalized marijuana while a further 21 allow medical marijuana.

Seventy percent of voters under the age of 40 said that a relationship with God personally mattered to them, while 30 percent said it didn’t matter. The survey also found that younger people support the government helping people to pay down their student loan debt by a margin of 48 percent to 37 percent. Those aged 18-29, many of whom are either in college or saddled with enormous college debt, are especially supportive.

It also revealed that young people are divided over the issue of abortion, though a majority identify as pro-choice. About 37 percent of respondents identified as pro-life. Surprisingly, men were equally as likely to call themselves pro-choice as women were. Young people are also less concerned about the effects of pornography. Forty-seven percent of respondents said porn wasn’t ruining their sex lives, while 33 percent disagreed.

The Rare.us survey was conducted by nonpartisan Gravis Marketing between Aug. 11 and Aug. 18. A total of 556 respondents under age 40 were interviewed over the phone and using Internet panels. Overall, the poll has a margin of error of 5 percent.

Rare editors Jack Hunter (jack@rare.us) and Matt Purple (matthew@rare.us) are available for broadcast or press interviews.

About Rare
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