Iowa “Caucus for Kids” campaign calls on 2016 candidates to address kids’ issues

Iowa Democrats and Republicans agree: presidential candidates are failing to address the need to provide better opportunities for our kids. This is one of the findings of a new poll sponsored by Every Child Matters in conjunction with the launch of the “Caucus for Kids” campaign.

The new data showed that 75 percent of Iowa voters believe the candidates have not done a good job of addressing the need to provide better opportunities for children. The poll also revealed a strong sense among Iowa voters that children of the current generation are unlikely to lead better lives than their parents.

“When a child gets a fair shot at success, America’s families, communities and the economy benefit,” said Brian Ahlberg, President of the Every Child Matters Education Fund. “Voters want to know how the candidates are going to address the growing ‘opportunity gap’ so that the next generation can live healthy, educated, and productive lives.”

Key Findings of the Iowa Poll

  • Neither Democratic nor Republican likely caucus-goers give the presidential candidates good grades on talking about how they will provide greater opportunities for children. Only 8% of Democrats and Republicans rate their performance so far as ‘excellent.’ A third (32%) of Republicans and a quarter of Democrats (24%) say they are doing at least a ‘good’ job addressing opportunity for children. Strong majorities – 57% of Republicans and 69% of Democrats – assess them as doing either a ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ job.
  • Republican caucus-goers believe today’s children lack opportunities for success, and are deeply dissatisfied about it. A majority (61%) find it unlikely that today’s children will have a better life than their parents (37% say it is likely they will). A similar share (61%) are dissatisfied with the opportunity for the next generation of Americans to live better than their parents (20% are satisfied).
  • Democrats hold a more positive outlook for the future of children. A majority of Democrats (58%) believe it is likely that today’s children will have a better life than their parents (39% say it is unlikely). However, they split on their satisfaction with the opportunities the next generation has. Only a third (35%) express satisfaction while 43% are dissatisfied.

To help address these alarming statistics, Every Child Matters in Iowa launched “Caucus for Kids,” an effort by leading child and family advocates to call on presidential candidates from all parties to tell Iowans how they plan to close the opportunity gap today’s generation faces and encourage Iowans to make kids issues a priority when they caucus on February 1, 2016.

“As the candidates storm the state of Iowa these next few months, we hope they’ll give issues like the health, education and well-being of children the time and attention they deserve,” said Kelli Soyer, Iowa Director for Every Child Matters. “Iowa voters believe these issues should be a high priority for the next president. That’s why we will Caucus for Kids.”


The results reported come from a poll of 638 likely Republican and 615 likely Democratic caucus goers. Interviews were conducted online and through interactive voice recording (IVR) by Public Policy Polling of Raleigh North Carolina from October 30th through November 1st, 2015. Each sample has a margin of error of ± 3.9 percent.