The record generation gap evident in the last two presidential elections is echoed by large differences by age in attitudes about the tradeoff between reducing the federal deficit and preserving entitlements for older adults.
A majority of Americans, both Democrat and Republican, have received government benefits from one of the six best-known federal entitlement programs.
When the national conversation focuses on class, the social safety net and the distribution of wealth as it has in the past week, the public sees clear differences between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and Obama has an overall advantage.
In the last four national elections, generation has mattered more in American elections than it has in decades. This continues to be true as voters look ahead toward the 2012 general election. In a contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney, there is a 20-point gap in support for Obama between Millennials and the over-65 Silent generation.