Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

Youths Carry the Vote, Research Study Says

ARCHIVES
Image via Peeradach Rattanakoses/Shutterstock.com

The millennial generation provided at least 80 electoral votes for President Barack Obama last Tuesday.

More than 22 million voters ages 18 to 29 cast ballots in this election.

Peter Levine, director at the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University said voter turnout for young people tallied at least 49 percent, creating a new normal for voter demographics in the U.S. He said he expects the percentage to increase to as much as 51 percent as more results are released.

In 2008, youth voter turnout was 52 percent.

Data source: Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

Youth turnout matched the turnout results of 2008 statistically, but youths also increased their electoral representation in this election, Levine said.

Although the percentage of young voters was similar to the 2008 election, young voters were able to create a more influential role in the electoral college, increasing youth representation as an electoral stronghold.

In 2008, young voters represented 18 percent of the voting population, which is 1 percent less than current youth voter share estimates.

Levine said the single percentage increase to 19 percent means young voters were more represented in the electorate this election year than previous years.

Heather Smith, president of Rock the Vote, said this year’s election proves that the millennial generation cares about the election and wants to be heard.

“I think we’ve now established a very fairly decent pattern that this generation is different than their older brothers and sisters and can put those rumors about youth to bed,” Smith said.

Levine said if youth voters did not participate in the election in Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Florida, or if former governor Mitt Romney had won half of the youth vote, these states would have flipped from blue to red.

He said losing the youth vote lost the election for Romney.

“It is because he lost the youth group pretty decisively that he is not going to be the next president,” Levine said.

An estimated 17 million youths have turned 18 since the last election, granting them eligibility to vote.

Smith said she expected youth voter turnout to be lower.

“We knew all along that they cared,” she said, “but the campaign was just different than 2008.”

Levine and Smith said some youth voters were confused about the election, and the campaigns didn’t treat young people well.

“An awful lot of young people were confused about policy issues, and I think that this was a very confusing campaign to follow,” Levine said.

CIRCLE polling data showed that there was a decline in youth voter enthusiasm in this election, Levine said. Despite possible confusion and lack of enthusiasm, voters still turned up.

“They may not have been enthusiastic or happy about the campaign, but they were persistent,” Levine said.

From 2000 to 2004, youth voter turnout increased from 41 percent to 48 percent, indicating that voter turnout has consistently increased regardless of which candidates were running for president.

“Yesterday, young Americans showed up, voted and made it clear that they are the generation that will take our country forward,” Smith said.

(Image via Peeradach Rattanakoses/Shutterstock.com)

Tanya Parker is a senior broadcast journalism and Spanish student at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Originally from Perry, Ohio, Tanya is the producer of Athens’ local entertainment news program, “Straight Up!” Tanya has also reported, anchored and produced for “Athens Midday,” and served as the multimedia producer for the online environmental magazine, College Green Magazine, for one year. In addition to broadcast, Tanya worked as the Wit & Banter columnist at The Post, an independent, student-run newspaper at Ohio University.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.