Millennials and the president aren’t quite seeing eye to eye about the most pressing policy challenge facing their future.
Just one percent of young adults (18 to 34) said that climate change is the most important issue for a 2016 presidential candidate to address, according to a new survey from Fusion. That trails four issues outside the poll’s margin of error: the economy and jobs (19 percent), health care (10), education (7), and federal deficits and debt (6). These issues consistently rate at the top of millennials’ policy concerns.
“The economy and jobs were the No. 1 issue across every demographic measured in the poll, from sex, age, race, ideology, and education level. All but one demographic — young men — ended up with health care as the No. 2 issue,” Fusion’s piece accompanying the poll results reads.
But in his 2015 State of the Union address, President Obama said that climate change trumps all other matters facing youth and future generations.
“[N]o challenge – no challenge – poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” the president remarked last month.
“The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it,” he continued later in the speech.
In a previous Fusion survey, 4 percent of young adults surveyed said that climate change was “the most important issue facing the U.S. today.” That trailed the same four responses mentioned earlier, as well as terrorism. This particular poll question listed fewer choices than the similar question posed in the survey released Tuesday.
A Harvard poll from 2014 found that about half of millennials were unsure if the government should do more on the issue of climate change, even at the expense of economic growth. The other half were split in support and opposition.
According to Fusion, however, “A majority of millennials want their next president to take decisive action to improve their economic situations.”