A New Tyler Clementi Foundation Poll Says Half of Americans Believe That Campaign Tone Is Affecting Kids and Creating Meanness

Registered voters are asked their feelings about how this year's Presidential election is affecting their children.

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A new poll commissioned by the Tyler Clementi Foundation finds a majority of registered voters believe the language and tone of the current presidential campaign is having an effect on children. 53% of the more than 1400 registered voters questioned said “yes” when asked if they “believe the polarizing language being used in this presidential election is spilling over to young people and creating more meanness.” 36% said no while 11% said they weren’t sure.

The poll revealed a gender gap on this question with 57% of woman saying “yes” compared to 47% of men. The question also split along party lines with Democrats more likely than Republicans to believe in a spillover effect; 68% of Democrats said “yes” while just 38% of Republicans said “yes.”

More than 50% of voters believe campaign tone is affecting kids.“We are not surprised that the larger media environment is affecting people,” Jane Clementi, founder of the Tyler Clementi Foundation and mother of Tyler Clementi who died by suicide in 2010 after being cyberharassed at Rutgers University. “Adults are worried that when adults model nasty or negative behavior, it will impact our youth.”

Public Policy Polling used automated telephone technology to survey 1,427 registered voters on October 4 & 5, 2016.


The Tyler Clementi Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to ending online and offline bullying in schools, workplaces, and faith communities. The Clementi family founded it to honor Tyler Clementi, whose death after cyber bullying in 2010 became a global news story highlighting the dangerous consequences of bullying.

Public Policy Polling is a research company based in Raleigh, North Carolina that uses interactive voice response technology to conduct surveys for politicians & political organizations, unions, consultants, and businesses.

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