We have been closely following the polls related to how Americans under 30 will be voting in the 2012 Presidential election.

Jessica Tirta of Business 2 Community offers a more general set of analytics on college students, including how many are registered to vote and their attitudes on various social and fiscal matters.

Should college-age students be given more attention by Presidential candidates or are their votes already locked away? Research from UCLA in 2011 showed that 27.6% of surveyed incoming freshmen described themselves as liberal, 20.7% described themselves as conservative, and a full 47.4% identified themselves as ‘middle of the road.’

Does this matter? Yes, because many of the registered college voters intend to go to the polls this fall. How many? A spring 2012 Harvard University Institute of Politics study showed that 74% of four-year college students are registered to vote. Fifty-three percent of polled students said they intend to vote while 21% said they “probably” would. Extrapolate that outward to the 21.6 million students estimated to be attending U.S. colleges and universities in the fall of 2012 and you have numbers in the millions.

Yet, while the UCLA study showed that many incoming freshmen identified themselves as middle-of-the-road, other research shows that many college students do have left-leaning beliefs that may become stronger as they complete college. Their larger age bloc, the Millennials, may also hold more of these liberal beliefs. In fact, Millennials, or those born between 1981 and 2000, are more likely to be more Democratic or Democratic leaning than any of the other generational groups, including Gen X, the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation. So how do the beliefs of college students and young adults break down?

Click HERE to go to see the complete set of explanatory graphics. The following data extracted from those graphics offer some evidence that the liberalism asserted by Tirta will be tempered by common sense.

  •  43% of incoming freshmen believe undocumented immigrants should be denied access to public education;.
  • 39.39 of incoming freshmen describe themselves as conservative/far right; 30.3 describe themselves as “middle of the road”.
  • 86% of Millennials believe that they should be able to put Social Security Taxes into private accounts.
  • 58% of Millennials say the economy and jobs are their top concerns.
  • 66% of eligible Millennials are registered to vote.