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Young Republicans and Democrats can agree on one thing: there's less civility in U.S. politics

That finding came from a report, which also showed young adults disagree on whether they are hopeful or fearful about the future of America.

Harvard University's Widener Library.

Young Americans may have different feelings about the future of the country now that President Trump has taken office, but they mostly agree on one thing: civility in politics has dropped over the last five years.

Harvard University's Kennedy School Institute of Politics released this week the findings from a national poll of America’s 18- to 29-year-olds.

More than 60 percent of all Americans between those ages said the “overall tone and level of civility in American politics” has decreased in the past five years. Eleven percent said civility has increased and 27 percent said it stayed the same.

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When it comes to thoughts on the country’s future, America’s youth disagree along party lines.

A majority of young Republicans (70 percent) reported feeling hopeful about the future, while almost half of young Democrats (48 percent) said they are fearful.

Among independent young adults, there’s no real consensus: 34 percent feel hopeful, 33 percent fearful 32 percent said they were unsure, according to the poll.

Concerning specific issues, student loans were at the forefront of most young adults’ minds, said Maggie Williams, director of the Institute.

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"Of particular interest to millennials throughout the 2016 campaign was their concern about repayment of student loan debt," she said in a statement. "Post-campaign, young adults are still very much focused on this issue.”

“More than half of those interviewed support the creation of a national service program that is linked to student loan forgiveness. We suspect that in the near future, national, state and local leaders will hear directly from millennials on this important issue."

They were also asked about their opinion of Barack Obama, who got high praise across party lines.

Ninety five percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of independents said they approved of Obama’s job performance as president.

The survey questioned 771 U.S. citizens, between 18 and 29 years old, over Jan. 20 and 21. The poll was done in partnership with the IOP’s National Campaign for Political and Civic Engagement Conference.

The conference will host 60 college students from Feb. 3 to 5 as they talk about ways to help reconnect America politically.

 
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