Insight from NSHSS President James W. Lewis
“With millennials now becoming the largest voting bloc in the country, NSHSS recognizes the tremendous value in conducting a Political Survey of our members. Our diverse group of members represents the future leaders of our country, and understanding their political interests and habits can reveal insight into how to effectively reach out to this influential generation.
In our most recent Career Survey, 77% of NSHSS members surveyed reported that they are engaged in their community through leadership positions and community service. Knowing this information, we were not surprised to find out that our members are more actively involved in politics than average millennials. We are proud to learn through our survey that our members not only take a stand on important issues, but also are actually doing something about it.
NSHSS rewards the service of our members through scholarships and grants like the National Scholar Awards, the Sheppard Leadership Awards, and the Hollister Co. Anti-bullying Awards, among others. By providing support for our members to work in their communities, we are giving them a head start to change the world for the better.”
-NSHSS President, James W. Lewis
About the Millennial Political Survey
The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS) presents the results of the NSHSS 2016 Political Survey, which was administered online to NSHSS members in December 2015. NSHSS members are high-achieving young people, ages 15 to 32, and represent the future leaders of the United States and the world. This report, prepared by Hanover Research, explores participants’ preferences for accessing political news, past participation in presidential elections, and opinions of the 2016 presidential election candidates and issues. In total, 9,899 NSHSS members responded to the survey.
Where do NSHSS members stand on the issues?
- According to 49% of respondents, the ‘economy and jobs’ is one of the most important issues they consider when selecting a presidential candidate.
- Nearly one-third of respondents also consider student loan debt (34%), terrorism (33%), and civil rights (32%) as important issues.
Where do NSHSS members get their news?
- Most respondents receive political news from several different media platforms, including the Internet (79%), television (70%), and social media (66%).
- While only 18% of respondents check the news every day, nearly all check the news regularly. Only 2% of respondents report not receiving any political news. The majority of respondents spent less than 15 minutes (39%) or 15 to 29 minutes (29%) checking the news.
What are the voting trends of NSHSS members?
- 55% of respondents 18 and older were registered to vote, and 54% of currently unregistered but eligible voters report that they intend to register to vote for the 2016 election.
- 28% of currently registered voters were eligible to vote in the 2012 election and 78% of those respondents cast a ballot in 2012, comparing to a voting rate of 60.8% for all adults 18 and over in 2012.
To see more detailed results of the NSHSS 2016 Political Survey, please view our slideshow.
 File, T. “Young-Adult Voting: An Analysis of Presidential Elections, 1964-2012.” U.S. Census Bureau, April 2014. https://www.census.gov/prod/2014pubs/p20-573.pdf