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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A national poll conducted by the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School found historic interest among 18-to-29 year olds in the upcoming election, which could potentially lead to a massive voter turnout among age group.

Why it matters: With just over a week until Election Day, 63% of the poll's respondents indicated they will “definitely be voting,” which is the highest proportion of respondents in the twenty years the poll has been conducted. These young voters are motivated by a number of social issues.

  • Young Americans as a whole wish to see increased policy actions to address healthcare issues (72%) and to improve access to mental health services (75%).
  • 71% of all young Americans (including 50% of young Republicans) support increased government action to improve race relations. 
  • 36% of these voters believe their opportunities to succeed will be better than their parents’ generation, 29% believe about the same, and 34% believe opportunities will be worse, yet only 24% of older age groups thought they had less opportunities than their parents.

The big picture: While a majority of these young voters prefer candidate Joe Biden to President Trump, Trump supporters are much more confident that their candidate will win than Biden supporters.

  • Biden is viewed favorably by 56% of likely voters, although 41% view him unfavorably remains unchanged.
  • Roughly half of all likely voters in this age group plan on voting by mail or absentee ballot. 57% of Biden supporters plan to vote by mail, while 58% of Trump supporters plan to vote in person on election day.
  • Nearly half of young black voters would cast their ballots on election day, since only 50% of this group are very confident their ballots will be counted.

Methodology: This poll of 2,026 18- to 29- year-olds, including 1,229 likely voters, was organized with undergraduate students from the Harvard Public Opinion Project (HPOP) and supervised by Chase H. Harrison, Ph.D.  In this approach, the calibrating sample was provided by the KnowledgePanel probability-based sample source (n=1,005), while the sample to be calibrated was provided by non-probability, opt-in web panel sample sources (n=1,021). Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish between September 23 and October 11, 2020 and the margin of error for the total sample is +/- 2.99%.

Go deeper

Biden's coronavirus challenge: Reaching Trump voters

Data: KFF analysis of AP VoteCast, a survey of the American electorate conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago (conducted Oct. 27-Nov. 3). ; Table: Axios Visuals

People who voted for President Trump didn't see the coronavirus as an urgent problem, according to exit polls, but President-elect Joe Biden's voters overwhelmingly did.

Why it matters: The Biden administration will face a massive public education challenge as it tries to get the whole country to treat the virus as a serious threat and, when the time comes, to get vaccinated.

2 hours ago - World

Iran confirms assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadhe

The Iranian ministry of defense issued a statement on Friday confirming the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadhe, an Iranian scientist and the architect behind the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear program.

Why it matters: Fakhrizadhe was the head of the Amad project in the Iranian ministry of defense, which focused on developing a nuclear bomb until 2003.

U.K. to launch new watchdog next year to police digital giants

Photo: Muhammed Selim Korkutata/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The U.K. government said on Friday that it will establish next year a Digital Markets Unit, which will enforce forthcoming "pro-competition" regulations aimed at curbing some of the digital platforms like Google and Facebook.

Why it matters: This is the latest move by a government to respond to growing objections to the size and power these companies have amassed.