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Youth Turnout

Conventional Wisdom immediately following the election was that the youth turnout this year ws nothing to write home about. It was expected that there would be an extremely large youth turnout, but initially, the media was finding no evidence of it.

Luckily, some actual data has come out and it appears that the youth did in fact show up in much greater numbers than in 2000, and in fact it was the largest youth turnout since 1972, the first year that 18-21 year olds could vote.

The main reason for the initial underwhelming exit polls was that since there was a larger turnout in general, the 18-29 year old demographic didn’t increase it’s share of the total.

Crowded Polls Dilute Youth Turnout

CIRCLE researchers based their calculations on exit polls done for The Associated Press and others by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International, and found that 18- to 29-year-old turnout was up by 4.6 million voters and more than nine percentage points from exit poll data from the 2000 election.

The figures also beat exit poll numbers from 1992, the last time the youth vote spiked amid an otherwise general decline in turnout since 18-year-olds first got the chance to vote in 1972.

Turnout increased among other age groups, too, leaving young voters with roughly the same proportion of the total electorate nationally as in 2000. But activists who were part of an unprecedented effort to get out the vote — from Rock the Vote and Declare Yourself to the Youth Vote Coalition — felt that didn’t detract from their accomplishment.

Take heart my peers and young friends, the foundation is there…

Categories: Politics.