THE BLOG

Change (And Action) They Still Believe In

07/22/2009 05:12 am 05:12:01 | Updated May 25, 2011

Over 70 percent of young voters between ages 18 and 24 believe that President Barack Obama's message of change has matched his actions in office, according to those polled in a recent Zogby/Scoop44 survey (6/12-15).

In the expanded under-30 demographic, nearly two-thirds of young voters say that Obama's policies as President have jibed with with his campaign rhetoric--that fervent trumpet of "change we can believe in."

Seven months after Obama's election, more than 80% of Democrats and a majority of independent voters agree that their votes for change translated into tangible action.

Amid a recent chorus of criticism from the left, including comments by popular comedian Bill Maher, that the President has abandoned campaign proposals on health care and environmental reform, corporate regulation, and military redeployment, the poll renews confidence in the "change President."

On his HBO series "Real Time with Bill Maher," Maher said he was "hoping for a little more audacity" and a little less "television celebrity" from Obama.

"I think Obama has made real strides and stuck with his core campaign message," said Alex Leopold, a 21 year old New York native and a student at Concordia University.

"He still needs to get punchier on emissions standards and see his end-goals through, but it's early," concurring in part with funny-guy Maher's position.

Many Republicans, in fact 43%, believe that the President's talk of change--a reversal of Bush-Cheney era policy--has matched his decisions in office.

Dara Dewberry, 20, a first-time registered Republican and McCain voter, said she agrees Obama has re-swung the political pendulum as he promised. "I must credit the President on delivering liberal policies in sync with his campaign pledges, even though I disagree with the vast majority of them."

Compared with just 5% of voters between 18 and 24, more than one in four over-thirty voters don't believe Obama's campaign promises have matched his actions in office at all.

60% of 18 to 24 year-olds view Supreme Court gender and ethnic balance as important.

The poll also measured young Americans' responses to Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court. While less half of respondents (42%) viewed gender and ethnic balance important to the future of the Supreme Court, 60% of young voters 18 to 25 view these criteria as important.

Michael Williams, a 21 year old Columbia University student, agrees. "Many folks can dig the significance of her insights as a woman, Latina, and working-class-single-mother's-daughter and how this combination connects to everyday people."

"More and more people are recognizing how imbalanced representation has been on the Court."

The polarizing debate over Sotomayor's Latina bona fides splits along partisan lines, according to respondents, with roughly 73% of Democrats viewing balance as important, whereas only 17% of Republicans agreed. Indeed, not one self-identified Republican respondents said such a mixed Court was "very important."

More than 56% of Americans are unconcerned with such diversity on the bench, according to these figures, hinting that another white nominee, notwithstanding only two-non-white justices in U.S. history, might well apply in the future.