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 ClintonElection fears recede for House Republicans To woo black voters in Georgia, Dems need to change their course of action Trump lawyer touts petition to stop 'soft coup' against Trump 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 WarrenFortune 500 CEOs: The professional athletes of corporate America The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — The art of walking away from the deal Rising star Abrams advances in Georgia governor race 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 PaulGOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back billion in spending Pro-Trump super PAC raises .5 million in 6 weeks Trump has exposed Democratic hypocrisy on prison reform 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 CruzGOP senators introduce Trump's plan to claw back billion in spending Pro-Trump super PAC raises .5 million in 6 weeks Trump has exposed Democratic hypocrisy on prison reform 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 RubioTrump appears to confirm deal on Chinese firm ZTE Hillicon Valley: Experts worry North Korea will retaliate with hacks over summit | FBI works to disrupt Russian botnet | Trump officials look to quell anger over ZTE | Obama makes case for tighter regs on tech Putting pressure on Trump, House passes bill barring government from doing business with ZTE 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.