Young voters want a Democrat in the White House in 2016
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A strong majority of young voters would like to see a Democrat stay in the White House in 2016, according to a poll from the Harvard Institute of Politics, released on Wednesday.

Fifty-five percent of voters aged 18 to 29 said they’d like to see a Democrat win the presidential race, compared to 40 percent who said they hoped a Republican would be victorious.

Democrats are boosted in the poll by overwhelming support from young minority groups — 87 percent of young black voters polled said they want to see a Democrat in the White House, with 68 percent of young Hispanics saying the same.

However, a majority of young white voters, 53 percent, said they’d like to see a Republican in the White House in 2016, compared to 41 percent who said they want a Democrat.

The data underscores the issues facing the GOP in expanding the party’s appeal to the young voters and minorities that formed a crucial portion of President Obama’s coalition during his presidential runs in 2008 and 2012.

In 2012, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement found Obama won 67 percent of the young vote, compared to 30 percent for GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Had the two candidates split voters aged 18 to 29, Romney would have won the election, the analysis found. 

Among those young voters who would like to see a Democrat in the White House, former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonIntel Dem decries White House 'gag order' after Bannon testimony 'Total free-for-all' as Bannon clashes with Intel members Mellman: On Political Authenticity (Part 2) MORE is far and away the front-runner, according to the Harvard poll of millennials. She takes 47 percent support in the poll, followed by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Trump is a 'racist bully' Poll: Oprah would outperform Warren, Harris against Trump in California Democrats continue to dismiss positive impacts of tax reform MORE at 11 percent, Vice President Biden at 8 percent and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley at 3 percent. 

On the Republican side, Ben Carson leads the tight field of GOP candidates among voters aged 18 to 29, although 36 percent said they’re undecided.

The retired neurosurgeon takes 10 percent in the new poll, followed by Kentucky Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulNSA spying program overcomes key Senate hurdle Fix what we’ve got and make Medicare right this year Despite amnesty, DACA bill favors American wage-earners MORE at 8 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 7 percent each, and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWith religious liberty memo, Trump made America free to be faithful again Interstate compacts aren't the right way to fix occupational licensing laws Texas Dem: ‘I don’t know what to believe’ about what Trump wants for wall MORE, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 5 percent each.

Carson is expected to announce that he’s officially entering the presidential race on Monday from his hometown of Detroit. He’s built a strong following of grassroots conservatives based on his personal story of rising out of poverty to become one of the foremost neurosurgeons in the world.

Paul, who finished second among millennials in the poll, has long had a strong grip on young voters, who generally support his libertarian-leaning views on issues like prison sentencing reform and rolling back the nation’s drug laws. 

Rounding out GOP field are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 4 percent, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 3 percent, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum at 3 percent and Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Cybersecurity: Bipartisan bill aims to deter election interference | Russian hackers target Senate | House Intel panel subpoenas Bannon | DHS giving 'active defense' cyber tools to private sector Senators unveil bipartisan push to deter future election interference Puerto Rico's children need recovery funds MORE coming in a distant 11th place at 2 percent.

President Obama is enjoying a nice boost among young voters. His job performance approval rating has leaped from 43 percent in October to 50 percent in the latest poll.

The Harvard poll was gathered through online interviews with 3,034 young adults between March 18 and April 1.