HIRAM -- Young voters are upbeat about America's future and prefer President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in the race for the White House.
Those are two significant findings in a national survey of young voters taken by Hiram College's Garfield Institute for Public Leadership.
The June poll shows President Obama's support has dropped significantly since both the 2008 Presidential campaign and this January.
President Obama is preferred by 50 percent of voters age 18-29. Mitt Romney is the choice of 37 percent.
The sample found that young voters are very or somewhat optimistic about the general future of the county 63% to 34%.
But confidence in the economy over the next year is less so, 58% to 39%.
Young voters are evenly divided on whether the President and Democrats or Romney and Republicans have more ability to strengthen the economy and create jobs, 43% to 43%.
The survey found that more young voters believe small businesses rather than large companies are the key to boossting the economy, 47% to 43%.
A majority of those surveyed said the Republican Party will do a better jobs of keeping American competitive in the world and reducing the Federal deficit.
A 2-to-1 margin believe Obama would do a better job of preserving Social Security so that benefits are available when they retire.
View the entire poll
This is the second installment of Hiram College's Garfield Institute's year-long,"Listening to Young Voters " project.
The project seeks to measure the attitudes of young voters that had unprecedented participation in the 2008 election and helped elect Presidnet Obama.
Dr. Jason Johnson said, "The survey shows that while there is general optimism for the future for the President...it also shows that when asked about specifics on the economy and jobs, Romney and Republicans have made significant gains."