In the national poll of 796 voters conducted Oct. 5-18, registered voters 35 or younger favored Obama over John McCain by a 26-point margin -- much more substantial than his five-point lead with voters age 36-54 and nine-point lead among those 55-70. McCain led by five points with voters 70 and over.
Eighty-four percent of the younger voters said they are absolutely certain they will vote. While that percentage is high, it's still lower than the older age groups, in which 86 to 90 percent said they would definitely vote.
"Clearly, younger voters overwhelmingly support Obama. If they show up in record numbers, they will decidedly tip the scale toward an Obama victory," said Hawkeye Poll Director David Redlawsk, associate professor of political science in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. "But if they fail to turn out, the final result is likely to be very close."
Less than 40 percent of younger voters are paying close attention to the election, compared to 53 percent of those 35-54, 61 percent of those 55-69, and 72 percent of those 70 and older.
"By historical standards, the level of interest is extremely high across all ages. But those under 35 are much less likely to be tracking the election closely," Redlawsk said. "This suggests they're less engaged -- and perhaps less likely to turn out, because those who pay attention are more likely to vote."
Survey has much more to say. And it is here.