Monthly Archives: May 2012

Five Surprising Facts About California’s Millennials

Flickr/Patrick Giblin

The non-partisan government reform group California Forward is taking the pulse of the state’s “millennial” generation, namely young adults aged 18-29, and finding them surprisingly upbeat, considering the dismal state of the economy, the increasing crunch to get into (and pay for) college and the pervasive frustration expressed by their elders.

Here’s what the survey found about millennials:

1. They are optimistic about California and their own future prospects (67 percent say the state offers great opportunities for young people, versus 44 percent of baby boomers who say so).

2. They believe California has excellent schools and universities (74 percent of millennials say so, versus 54 percent of baby boomers).

3. They are more likely to trust the government (69 percent say they trust state government officials to make good decisions some of most of the time, versus 46 percent of everyone surveyed).

4. They are less partisan (37 percent of millennials call themselves independents, versus 27 percent overall).

5. Half of all millennials surveyed participate in volunteer activities (more than any other age group) but just 39 percent say they always vote (far less than any other age group).

It all raises a few questions: Are young people more upbeat because they’re still wet behind the ears and don’t know what headaches and heartbreak await them? Or is their optimism about California based on experiences that bode well for our future as a state? And how will their lack of partisanship and consistent voting play out for California’s political landscape in coming years?

The survey, released Tuesday, was conducted in February and polled 1,257 adults, including 600 millennials. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Presidential Campaign Ads Fly but Californians Irked by Partisanship

We’re six months out and the 2012 presidential race is gearing up. President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney are moving into general election mode. And the Super PACs that support them — and can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money — are charging into the race.

The cash is flowing. The ads are flying. But what will voters take from it all?

The Obama campaign announced it would spend $25 million on ads just in the month of May. The first salvo is a strictly positive ad, touting the president’s hard work to dig the country out of the recession he inherited.

Meanwhile Americans For Prosperity, the conservative Super PAC, has unleashed its own anti-Obama ads, complete with allegations that American tax dollars meant for green job stimulus have been spent overseas.

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Santorum ‘Officially’ Endorses Romney

Rick Santorum Attends Caucus Night Event

Rick Santorum was less than happy in his email endorsement of Mitt Romney. Photo: Getty Images

Former presidential hopeful Rick Santorum sent a late-night email Monday that stated his endorsement of likely-Republican presidential candidate and former-foe Mitt Romney. As far as endorsements go, let’s just say it wasn’t the warmest or most enthusiastic. But what do you expect from someone who once said of Romney: “He is the worst Republican in the country to put up against Barack Obama.” Looks like the GOP’s rally cry has shifted from “Anyone but Romney” to “Anyone but Obama.

Here’s more from the Associate Press:

Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania and a newly minted celebrity among conservatives, said that the one-time rivals would unite to deny President Barack Obama’s re-election. But in a nod that the wounds had not yet healed, he reminded his supporters of the deep differences between the two and that misgivings had not yet abated.

“The primary campaign certainly made it clear that Gov. Romney and I have some differences. But there are many significant areas in which we agree,” Santorum wrote, citing common ground in economic, social and foreign policy.

He added: “Above all else, we both agree that President Obama must be defeated. The task will not be easy. It will require all hands on deck if our nominee is to be victorious. Gov. Romney will be that nominee and he has my endorsement and support to win this the most critical election of our lifetime.”

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Report: Most Americans Say That Climate Change Should be a Priority

Our friends over at KQED’s Climate Watch alerted us to a new study that finds the majority of Americans want climate change to be among country’s top priorities.


Majorities of Americans say that global warming and clean energy should be among the nation’s priorities, according to a new survey. Will those feelings translate into any action in the government? Anthony Leiserowitz of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication discusses the survey’s findings.

Read more at: www.sciencefriday.com