New Poll Gives Candidates Poor Grades on Creating Opportunities, Bright Future for Children

New data released today show that despite a strong sense among Iowa voters that our current generation of children are unlikely to lead a better life than their parents, the 2016 presidential candidates are failing to adequately address the need to provide better opportunities for our kids.

The data indicate that 75% of Iowa voters do not believe the candidates have done a good job of addressing the need to provide better opportunities for children.

Some key findings include:

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.

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Voters to Presidential Candidates: Speak About Child Policy

Iowa voters have deep concern about the future of children and want the Presidential candidates to focus policy attention on their health, education, and wellbeing according to a public opinion poll conducted by Selzer & Company  for the Child and Family Policy Center and Every Child Matters Education Fund. A solid majority (65%) express skepticism that “the life for the next generation will be better than for us.” Reflecting this concern, an even greater majority (68%) say they find it very or fairly important for candidates to focus on issues that affect children’s health, education, and wellbeing in the presidential debates, starting on August 6th in Cleveland.

Improving the health, education, and well-being of America’s children is so important to voters that they rank it as their top issue concern – 29 percent of all voters rank it as their first or second concern compared with 23 percent for “jobs and the economy.”

Download the Survey