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San Francisco Sees More Overdose Deaths Than Covid Deaths in 2020

Data show alarming trends in drug overdoses and suicide as people—especially young people who are least at risk from COVID-19—are forcibly cut off from friends, families, and communities.


It’s quite likely that wherever you are reading this, you are currently subjected to lockdowns, restrictions, regulations, or executive orders to one degree or another, as government officials respond to the coronavirus pandemic with increasing coercion and control. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that US states and cities have “imposed the most extensive restrictions on business and social gatherings” since the spring.

Many argue that these new restrictions are essential for slowing the current surge in coronavirus cases in certain areas, but some public health researchers have pointed out that lockdowns and related government orders that focus entirely on containing COVID-19 cases lead to worse public health outcomes in other areas. This collateral damage from lockdowns is already glaringly apparent. In particular, data show an alarming trend toward drug overdoses and suicide in 2020, as people—especially young people who are least at risk from COVID-19—are forcibly cut off from their friends, families, and communities.

The desperation is revealed in startling new statistics. According to the Associated Press, a total of 621 people have died of drug overdoses this year in San Francisco, compared to 173 deaths in the city from COVID-19. The number of San Francisco drug overdose deaths is up from 441 in 2019. California has enacted some of the strictest public health orders in the country this year, and is still seeing its cases rise.

One survey by YouGov found that 39 percent of respondents who were recovering from an addiction prior to lockdowns have relapsed. Other research shows increasing rates of drug and alcohol abuse in 2020, and the CDC reports that overdose deaths are accelerating during COVID-19.

Federal surveys show that 40 percent of Americans are now grappling with at least one mental health or drug-related problem.

Martin Kulldorff, a biostatistician and epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, has been critical of widespread lockdowns since the beginning of the pandemic, warning that these coercive strategies would lead to other serious public health harms and increased mortality.

“The current lockdown strategy has led to many excess deaths, both from COVID-19 and from the collateral damage on other health outcomes,” Kulldorff recently told Newsweek. “A focused protection strategy, as outlined in the Great Barrington Declaration, would minimize disease and mortality by better protecting older and other high risk people while letting the young live near normal lives.”

Kulldorff also suggests that new data showing US excess deaths in 2020 for people ages 25-44 are mostly due to the collateral damage caused by lockdown policies.

In addition to rising drug and alcohol abuse and overdose deaths, suicidal thoughts and attempts are also increasing this year. The Washington Post reports that depression and anxiety have surged since the arrival of the coronavirus.

“Federal surveys show that 40 percent of Americans are now grappling with at least one mental health or drug-related problem. But young adults have been hit harder than any other age group, with 75 percent struggling,” the Post reports. “Even more alarming, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently asked young adults if they had thought about killing themselves in the past 30 days, 1 in 4 said they had.”

The Post explains that we won’t have accurate data on suicide rates for 2020 until another couple of years, due to slow reporting mechanisms. But state and city data for some areas suggest disturbing suicide numbers this year, including in Oregon’s Columbia County where suicides by summertime had already exceeded the area’s 2019 total, and DuPage County near Chicago reports a 23 percent increase in suicides over last year. Other large counties in the US have seen similarly ominous trends, and in Japan, more people died of suicide in the month of October alone than have died from COVID-19 this entire year.

As families weigh the trade-offs this holiday season between social isolation to slow the spread of coronavirus and the harms that this separation can cause, many of them are choosing to ignore public health warnings to avoid travel and holiday gatherings. The New York Times reports that millions of people have passed through airport security checkpoints this week, while The Wall Street Journal indicates that nearly 85 million Americans are expected to travel between Dec. 23 and Jan. 3, a decline of just under 30 percent from last year.

More families may be seeing the damage these lockdowns and related policies are causing their loved ones and are no longer willing to comply with draconian orders to stay away from others. Their decision may be made easier when they see public health officials and politicians personally violating the holiday travel and gathering warnings and rules they thrust on others.

COVID-19 should be taken seriously as a public health threat, but so too should the harms of lockdowns and government orders that are leading to record numbers of drug overdose deaths and suicides, along with other types of collateral damage such as rising global poverty and declining cancer screenings.

While public health and elected officials remain singularly focused on COVID-19, families gathering this holiday season recognize that ensuring the overall health and well-being of their loved ones extends beyond one virus.

COLUMN BY

Kerry McDonald

Kerry McDonald is a Senior Education Fellow at FEE and author of Unschooled: Raising Curious, Well-Educated Children Outside the Conventional Classroom (Chicago Review Press, 2019). She is also an adjunct scholar at The Cato Institute and a regular Forbes contributor. Kerry has a B.A. in economics from Bowdoin College and an M.Ed. in education policy from Harvard University. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband and four children. You can sign up for her weekly newsletter on parenting and education here.

EDITORS NOTE: This FEE column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Harvard Hires PLO Executive to Mentor Students

Clarion discovers over $2.6 million in donations from the Palestinians to Harvard


Harvard University named Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat — who serves as secretary general of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) — as a fellow at the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.

Erekat, a man who called random stabbing attacks on Israeli citizens by Palestinian terrorists “self-defense,” will be charged with mentoring students and giving seminars in the school’s “The Future of Diplomacy Project.”

PLO member Erekat is one of four new fellows appointed by the school to the project. Commenting on the appointments, faculty chair Nicholas Burns said that the new fellows “will strengthen our capacity to learn the lessons of effective diplomacy and statecraft.”

In the course of research to our new documentary film Covert Cash (see below), Clarion Project discovered that the Palestinian Authority (PA), which essentially serves as the governmental arm of the PLO, made six donations to Harvard between the years of 2017 and 2019. The donations totaled $2,625,000.

The film asks, among other questions, what type of return on their investments are these foreign governments getting from their donations to American universities?

Since its inception, the PA has pleaded poverty and solicited donations from the world community. As of December 2018, the U.S. government had given the Palestinian Authority $5 billion in taxpayer dollars since 1994 (post the Oslo Accords). The European Union is one of their largest funders of the PA as well. Besides being used to line the pockets of top PA executives, Israel maintains that a good portion of this donated money has been used for terror.

The Palestine Liberation Organization was founded in 1964 with the purpose of “liberating Palestine” through armed struggle. Most of the enormous amount of violence perpetrated by the group over the years has been aimed at Israeli civilians.

The PLO was considered by the United States to be a terrorist organization until the Madrid Conference in 1991.

In 1993, the PLO ostensibly recognized the right of Israel to exist, yet continued to perpetrate terror attacks against Israel. It coordinated those attacks during the 2000–2005 Second Intifada and afterwards with the Palestinian Authority, its governmental arm.

Erekat has been involved in every Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiation since 2000 – all failed endeavors (most likely due to the fact that he explicitly stated in a 2014 interview with Al Jazeera, “I will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state”).

Nevertheless, Erekat will now bring his “expertise” – both as a diplomatic and as the author of 14 books on foreign policy, oil, conflict resolution and negotiations – to Harvard, where students at one of the most prestigious foreign policy schools in the country will be educated by him.

More facts about Erekat:

  • In 2015, Erekat compared Israel to ISIS saying, “There is no difference between the terrorism practiced by the group led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Israel’s terrorism”
  • He called Israel’s expansion of settlements “terrorism” at a time when settlements had seen nearly zero physical expansion for 25 years. In negotiations with then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Erekat admitted that the settlements took up only 1.1 percent of the areas Palestinians wanted for a state
  • Erekat denies archaeological evidence of the Jewish history in Jerusalem
  • Erekat claimed his family had lived in Israel for 9,000 years, yet evidence shows that the family comes from the Huwait region of Arabia

EDITORS NOTE: This Clarion Project column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Harvard Graduate Claira Janover Posts TikTok Video Threatening to Stab Anyone who says ‘All Lives Matter’

https://twitter.com/Bubblebathgirl/status/1278000057145491456

Worldwide News reported:

A Harvard graduate who posted a viral video jokingly saying she will stab anyone who says ”All Lives Matter” said she has now been fired from her job. Claira Janover, who worked at Deloitte after graduating with a degree in Government and Psychology from the Ivy League college earlier this year, previously said she had been getting death threats over her TikTok video calling out those who have ”the nerve, the sheer entitled caucasity” to say All Lives Matter.”Imma stab you, ”

Janover said. ”Imma stab you and while you’re struggling and bleeding out, Imma show you my paper cut and say, ‘My cut matters too. ”’

[ … ]

Janover later removed the ”All Lives Matter” video from her TikTok account, but versions of it are still being shared elsewhere on social media.

A TikTok video that recently went viral on social media showed a recent Harvard graduate threatening to stab anyone who said “all lives matter.” In her melodrama, she tried to sound intimidating with her histrionics.

She won a huge audience as she intended. But her video also came to the attention of the company that was going to give her an internship later this summer, Deloitte, which decided it didn’t want to add an intern who threatened to kill strangers who said something she didn’t like.

This wouldn’t have been much of a story. But then the narcissistic Harvard alum posted a very different video—one that showed her weeping in a near-fetal position.

She fought back tears while complaining how unfair the world had been to her. Her initial TikTok post had earned cruel pushback from the social media jungle she had courted. Deloitte, she sobbed, was mean and hurtful. And she wanted the world to share her pain.

The Harvard grad instantly became an unwitting poster girl for the current protest movement and the violence that has accompanied it. What turns off millions of Americans about the statue topplingthe looting, the threats, and the screaming in the faces of police is the schizophrenic behavior of so many of the would-be revolutionaries.

Actions have consequences. Threats do not solve problems, they exacerbate them.

“Stupid is as stupid does.” – Forrest Gump

©All rights reserved.

Notre Dame Professor Gabriel Said Reynolds falsely claims that Qur’an teaches only Allah should take revenge

The fact that Gabriel Said Reynolds, who demonstrates here that he is either abjectly ignorant or willfully dishonest about Islam, is a professor of theology at Notre Dame shows how much our nation’s universities (and the Catholic Church) are dominated by fantasy and wishful thinking rather than being willing to deal with unpleasant realities. Reynolds is an academic laden with honors, employed at Notre Dame and published in the New York Daily News, not because he speaks the truth, with which he is either unacquainted or unwilling to disclose, but because he tells people what they want to hear: that Islam, if only it were properly understood, is actually a religion of peace. How it came to be that so many Muslims misunderstand the religion they follow so devoutly, he does not bother to explain.

Meanwhile, would the New York Daily News ever publish a comparably lengthy theological defense of Christianity? Not on your life.

Anyway, to make his case that in Islam, vengeance belongs to Allah alone, Reynolds quotes a number of Qur’an verses, but he doesn’t even mention or attempt to explain away others that disprove his case. There is actually a great support, passed over in silence by Reynolds here, in the Qur’an and Sunnah for the death penalty for blasphemy. It can arguably be found in this verse: “Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment.” (5:33)

But if you don’t think that verse justifies killing those who insult Islam, there is this: “Those who annoy Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this World and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating Punishment” (33:57)

Yes, he has cursed them both in this world and the hereafter. What does a curse in this world look like? Muslims are told to fight such people: “If they violate their oaths after pledging to keep their covenants, and attack your religion, you may fight the leaders of paganism – you are no longer bound by your covenant with them – that they may refrain” (9:12).

Not only that, but the Qur’an explicitly says that Allah will punish people by the hands of the believers: “Fight them; Allah will punish them by your hands and will disgrace them and give you victory over them and satisfy the breasts of a believing people, and remove the fury in the believers’ hearts.” (9:14-15)

There is more in the hadith. In one, Muhammad asked: “Who is willing to kill Ka’b bin Al-Ashraf who has hurt Allah and His Apostle?” One of the Muslims, Muhammad bin Maslama, answered, “O Allah’s Apostle! Would you like that I kill him?” When Muhammad said that he would, Muhammad bin Maslama said, “Then allow me to say a (false) thing (i.e. to deceive Kab).” Muhammad responded: “You may say it.” Muhammad bin Maslama duly lied to Ka’b, luring him into his trap, and murdered him. (Bukhari 5.59.369)

“A Jewess used to abuse the Prophet and disparage him. A man strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah declared that no recompense was payable for her blood.” (Sunan Abu-Dawud 38.4349)

Why doesn’t Gabriel Said Reynolds mention any of those passages?

“What radical Muslims get wrong about the Koran: Vengeance is reserved for God alone,” by Gabriel Said Reynolds, New York Daily News, March 1, 2020:

In the name of Allah, militant Muslims continue taking up arms against people they consider threats to their faith and way of life. But does it make theological sense for humans to pick up swords and guns to exact retribution in this life?

The Koran, the book those same Muslims purport to revere, says no….

The irony of blasphemy laws, and the tragedy of these attacks carried out in supposed defense of Islam, is that the Koran time and again insists that it is God’s right, and God’s right alone, to exact vengeance.

Allah does not need Muslims to step in and punish those who insult Him. In fact, Allah does not want Muslims to do so. The God of the Koran is clear: He is the only avenger of Islam.

The case of blasphemy laws in Islam is particularly peculiar in light of the example of Muhammad himself. The Koran describes how the unbelievers in his native city of Mecca disputed his claims of prophethood and insulted him.

Koran 68:51 describes how they accused him of insanity: “Indeed, the faithless almost devour you with their eyes when they hear this Reminder, and they say, ‘He is indeed crazy.’”

The Koran does not respond by demanding that the blasphemers be killed for their insolence. It simply affirms the claims of Muhammad.

Elsewhere in the Koran, the voice of God counsels Muhammad to be patient when faced with opposition. Koran 16:126 alludes to some persecution or affliction which Muhammad has suffered from the unbelievers.

The next verse, in response, suggests that Muhammad could strike back in moderation, but should simply endure the persecution patiently: “If you retaliate, retaliate with the like of what you have been made to suffer, but if you are patient, that is surely better for the steadfast.”

This does not mean that the idea of vengeance is foreign to the Koran. The question the Koran poses is not whether offenses against Islam and Muslims should be avenged, but who should do the avenging.

And the answer is consistent: “God.”

Remarkably, and if only Boko Haram and other Salafi-Jihadis would listen, the Koran even teaches this lesson specifically about Christians. In Sura 5, God asks some questions of Jesus about those who followed him, but Jesus does not demand that the wrongdoers be punished.

He leaves their fate in God’s hands: “If Thou chastisest them, they are Thy servants; if Thou forgivest them, Thou art the All-mighty, the All-wise.”

The same lesson is taught about Muslims who are unfaithful to the laws of Islam. In chapter 5, verse 95, the Koran describes the laws of the pilgrimage to Mecca (known as the Hajj). But as for he who breaks the rules, the Koran gives no worldly punishment: “God will take vengeance on him, God is all-mighty, Vengeful.”

So what does divine vengeance look like in the Koran? Allah punishes those who offend Him in hell. The Koran not only describes paradise in vivid colors (as a place with food, drink, and women), it also describes hell in gruesome detail.

Angels of punishment will strike the damned from the front and the back. The damned will be condemned to drink boiling water and eat from a tree named Zaqqum whose fruit is like the heads of demons.

The Koran clearly considers this punishment enough for an unbeliever. Whereas the standard schools of Islam teach that someone who leaves the religion, an apostate, is to be killed, the only punishment for apostasy spoken of in the Koran is hell: “’Did you disbelieve after you had believed? Then taste the chastisement for that you disbelieved!’” (Quran 3:106).

The Koran also teaches that God need not wait for the afterlife to punish unbelievers. He is the lord of the universe and can intervene when He chooses.

A number of chapters in the Koran tell a series of tales, dubbed “punishment stories” by scholars, in which unbelieving peoples are punished for rejecting the prophet who is sent to them. Among these prophets are Biblical figures including Noah, Lot, and Moses, and others who seem to come from Arabian lore with names like Hud, Salih, and Shuʿayb.

In each story it is not the Prophet but God who intervenes….

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EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. © All rights reserved.

Breaking News from Harvard: Faith is Good for You

The Bible tells us that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecc. 1:9). So often what passes for “news” is really nothing more than a refresher. A case in point is a new study from published this month in the American Journal of Epidemiology about the link between religious upbringing and subsequent health and well-being.

One not-so-surprising finding of the study, which was done by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is that, “Compared with no attendance, at least weekly attendance of religious services was associated with greater life satisfaction and positive affect, a number of character strengths, lower probabilities of marijuana use and early sexual initiation, and fewer lifetime sexual partners.” Additionally, among the studies’ participants:

“Compared with never praying or meditating, at least daily practice was associated with greater positive affect, emotional processing, and emotional expression; greater volunteering, greater sense of mission, and more forgiveness; lower likelihoods of drug use, early sexual initiation, STIs, and abnormal Pap test results; and fewer lifetime sexual partners.”

These findings aren’t a surprise to us here at FRC. For years, we’ve seen this in practice, and in data like those published by our friend Pat Fagan at the Marriage and Religion Research Institute. It is a demonstrable fact that when faith is allowed to flourish, good outcomes are in store for society at large.

The study’s author observes,

“These findings are important for both our understanding of health and our understanding of parenting practices. Many children are raised religiously, and our study shows that this can powerfully affect their health behaviors, mental health, and overall happiness and well-being.”

Of course, we know that “faith” in a generic sense doesn’t always guarantee a comfortable outcome, but an abiding faith in Jesus Christ can anchor a person’s soul for whatever he or she may face in life. A study like this won’t necessarily cause people to embrace faith, but it does show that a society in which religious liberty thrives will be a healthier society. And any government that wants to promote the well-being of its people should give ample space for people to have the freedom to believe and to live out those beliefs.


Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.


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Harvard Poll: Trump, Carson Lead Republican Primary — Sanders Edging Clinton Among Democrats

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A new national poll of America’s 18- to 29- year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, finds Donald Trump (22%) and Ben Carson (20%) locked in a dead-heat as young Republicans’ first choice in their party’s presidential primary – and young Democrats giving the edge to Bernie Sanders (41%) over Hillary Clinton(35%) as the top selection in their presidential primary.  Overall, a majority (56%) of 18- to 29- year-olds prefer a Democrat win the 2016 campaign for president over a Republican, a net increase of five points since the IOP’s spring 2015 survey was released.

The IOP’s newest poll results also show – in the wake of the mid-November Paris terrorist attacks – a solid majority (60%) support the U.S. committing ground troops to defeat ISIS.  When asked how likely they would be to serve, 16% said they “have already,” “would definitely” or “would strongly consider” joining the U.S. military to combat ISIS if additional troops were needed.  A detailed report on the poll’s findings is available online: http://www.iop.harvard.edu/harvard-iop-fall-2015-poll.

“For 15 years, the IOP has polled Millennials, the largest generation in U.S. history,” said Harvard Institute of Politics Director Maggie Williams.  “Our fall poll shows they are deeply divided about who should lead America, focused on candidate integrity and split over whether the American Dream is alive or not.  We are hopeful that political leaders will inspire and include this generation in conversations about the future of their country.”

The IOP’s 28th major release since 2000, the GFK-KnowledgePanel® survey of 2,011 18- to 29- year-old U.S. citizens has a margin of error of +/– 2.8 percentage points (95% confidence level) and was conducted online with the Government and Academic Research team of GfK for the IOP between October 30 and November 9, 2015.  The poll finds:

Solid Majority of America’s 18- to 29- Year-Olds Support Sending Ground Troops to Combat ISIS.  Early fall 2015 IOP polling fielded before the Nov. 13 Paris terrorist attacks showed America’s youth split over whether to send U.S. ground troops to combat ISIS, with 48% saying they supported the action (48%: oppose) – a nine percentage-point drop in support over the past eight months (Mar. 2015: 57% support, 40% oppose).  However, IOP polling re-fielded the question following the Nov. 13 Paris terrorist attacks – finding a 12 percentage-point swing in support with a strong majority (60%) of young Americans supporting sending U.S. ground troops to combat ISIS (40%: oppose).

Entering 2016, 18- to 29- Year-Olds Prefer Democrats Maintain Control of White House.  As shown in spring 2015 IOP polling, young Americans prefer that a Democrat win the White House over a Republican in the 2016 race for president.  November IOP polling indicated a majority (56%) prefer a Democrat, with less than four-in-ten preferring a Republican (36%).

Donald Trump and Ben Carson locked in Dead-Heat, Ahead of Republican Presidential Candidate Field.  Among potential Republican primary voters (definite, probable or 50-50; n=472), fall 2015 IOP polling showed Donald Trump (22%) and Ben Carson (20%) in a statistical dead-heat – with a strong lead over the rest of the Republican candidate field.  Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz captured seven (7%) percent, closely followed byRand Paul and Jeb Bush (each with 6%), Carly Fiorina (3%), Mike Huckabee (3%), Rick Santorum (3%), John Kasich (2%), Lindsey Graham (1%), Bobby Jindal (1%), Chris Christie (1%), and George Pataki (<1%) – with 17% undecided.  Regardless of whom potential Republican primary voters plan to support, forty-three percent (43%) say they believe Ben Carson is “qualified to be president” (17%: “not qualified;” 41%: don’t know).  Slightly more than one-third (38%) said the same about Donald Trump (39%: “not qualified;” 22%: don’t know).  Seventeen percent (17%) said they were “very satisfied” with the Republican candidates for president this year (47%: “somewhat satisfied;” 25%: “not very satisfied;” 11%: “not at all satisfied”).

Starting at 1% in Spring 2015, Bernie Sanders Now Holds Lead (41%-35%) over Hillary Clinton; Most Don’t Believe “Democratic Socialist” Label Makes a Difference.  While Hillary Clinton maintains double-digit leads over Bernie Sanders in national polls of likely Democratic primary voters, November IOP polling showed 18- to 29- year-old potential Democratic primary voters (definite, probable or 50-50; n=751) as an outlier – with Sanders holding a slight edge and leading Clinton 41%-35% (22%: don’t know).  Less than one percent (<1%) said they supported Martin O’Malley.  A strong majority (66%) of 18- to 29- year-old potential Democratic primary voters said the fact that Bernie Sanders is a self-described Democratic Socialist made “no difference” in their likelihood to support his candidacy.  Slightly less than one-quarter (24%) said the label made them “more likely” to support Sanders, with only nine percent (9%) saying it made them “less likely.”  In addition, nineteen percent (19%) said they were “very satisfied” with the Democratic candidates for president this year (53%: “somewhat satisfied;” 21%: “not very satisfied;” 6%: “not at all satisfied”).

Nearly Half of Young Americans Believe the American Dream is Dead for Them. When November IOP polling asked 18- to 29- year-olds if the “American Dream is alive or dead” for them personally, respondents were nearly evenly split (49%: “alive;” 48%: “dead”).  While no significant difference was found based on race or ethnicity (whites – 49% said “alive;” African-Americans – 44% said “alive;” Hispanics – 52% said “alive”), respondents’ level of education did play a role.  Nearly six-in-ten (58%) college graduates said the American Dream was alive for them personally, compared to only 42% of those not in college/never enrolled in college saying the same.  Additionally, a significant majority of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders supporters said they believed the American dream was “dead” (Trump voters – 61%: American Dream “dead,” 39%: “alive;” Sanders voters – 56%: American Dream “dead,” 44%: “alive”).

America’s 18- to 29- Year-Olds Say Integrity, Level-Headedness and Authenticity – Not Experience – Most Valued Attributes in Future President.  When the IOP’s fall poll asked 18-29 year olds what attributes they valued most in a presidential candidate, integrity (51%), level-headedness (33%) and authenticity (26%) topped the list – with political experience (18%) and business experience (11%) trailing behind.

70% of 18- to 29- Year-Old Republicans, 31% of Democrats Support Building a Wall on the Border of the U.S. and Mexico.  Forty-three percent (43%) of America’s youth said they supported building a wall on the border of the United States and Mexico, with a slim majority (53%) saying they oppose the idea.  Support differed among Republicans (70%: support; 28%: oppose), Democrats (31%: support; 68%: oppose) and Independents (42%: support; 56%: oppose).

Engagement Slipping Since 2011: 20% of America’s Youth Say They Are Politically Engaged; Less Than Half Say They Are Following 2016 Campaign.  Only two-in-ten (20%) of America’s young adults said they considered themselves “politically engaged and active,” a drop of five percentage points compared to IOP polling conducted during the same pre-election time period four years ago (fall 2011: 25%).  When fall 2015 IOP polling asked America’s young adults “how closely do you follow the 2016 presidential race?” – only 46% said they were following the campaign “very” or “somewhat” closely (52%: “not very” or “not at all”).

Methodology

The goal of the project was to collect 2,000 completed interviews with young Americans between 18- and 29- years old.  The main sample data collection took place from October 30 through November 9.  A small pretest was conducted prior to the main survey to examine the accuracy of the data and the length of the interview.

Four thousand four hundred and forty-one (4,441) KnowledgePanel members were assigned to the study.  The cooperation rate was 45.2 percent which resulted in 2,011 completed interviews included in this report (after data cleaning).  Eighty-three (83) interviews were conducted in Spanish with the remainder done in English.  The web-enabled KnowledgePanel® is a probability-based panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population.  Initially, participants are chosen scientifically by a random selection of telephone numbers and residential addresses. Persons in selected households are then invited by telephone or by mail to participate in the web-enabled KnowledgePanel®. For those who agree to participate, but do not already have Internet access, GfK provides a laptop and ISP connection at no cost. People who already have computers and Internet service are permitted to participate using their own equipment. Panelists then receive unique log-in information for accessing surveys online, and are sent e-mails throughout each month inviting them to participate in research. More technical information is available at http://www.knowledgenetworks.com/ganp/reviewer-info.html and by request to the IOP.

Harvard University’s Institute of Politics (IOP), located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, was established in 1966 as a memorial to President Kennedy.  The IOP’s mission is to create the future of politics and public service every day, inspiring undergraduates to lead lives of purpose by committing themselves to the practice of politics, governing, public service and the countless opportunities to make a difference in the world. More information is available online at www.iop.harvard.edu.   

GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 12,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2012, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.51 billion. To find out more, visit www.gfk.com or follow GfK on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gfk_group.

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