What do newspapers and the Republican party have in common?
According to a new study of college students published by the Panetta Institute at Cal State Monterey Bay, both institutions had better realize that they're in trouble with young people.
The number of students who say the receive most of their information about politics and civic affairs from community newspapers now stands at 8 percent. Back in 2001, 21 percent of students said they kept up on things with the newspaper. Meanwhile, the proportion of students who say they look to Internet web sites stands at 59 percent. Another 12 percent keep up on politics exclusively through social media. And, presumably, that number is growing thanks to the increasing role of social media sites like Facebook.
As for the Republicans, four leading candidates -- including the presumptive candidate, Mitt Romney, have net negative ratings.. Romney, for example, scores at only 21 percent positive compared to 42 percent negative among college students.
President Barack Obama -- despite some significant questions about the economy -- remains popular among the collegiate set. He's at 57 percent positive and 24 percent negative.
Obama's popularity comes despite a profoundly negative view of political leadership in general. Some 47 percent of students say they're satisfied -- but 51 percent are not.
Still, there are ominous signs for Republicans, particularly when it comes to social issues. College students support the idea of gay marriage by a 75-22 percent margin. And as for abortion, the number of pro-choice advocates making up about 67 percent of students.
The survey was done by Hart Research Associates of Washington D.C., which has completed the survey of college students nationwide since 2001. For the complete report, check out the Panetta Institute website.