CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

August 2014 E-Update

August 25th, 2014
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2014 Midterms: The Role of Youth in Competitive House and Senate Races

The youth vote is important in every election, but CIRCLE’s recent analyses of youth voting and demographics suggest that, this November, it may be especially influential in a handful of competitive House and Senate races.

Young voters could have a significant impact on House races in the Iowa 3rd, Arizona 1st, Arizona 9th, and New York 23rd districts. Youth may also play an important role in the Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, and North Carolina Senate races.

This analysis is based on data featured in two recently released tools for studying young people’s political engagement:

Our congressional district map presents youth voting data from the latest midterm (2010) and presidential (2012) elections; statistics on several economic, social, and demographic indicators; and a snapshot of which 2014 congressional races currently rank as competitive.

Our state-by-state map features data on young people’s turnout and registration rates, in both midterm and presidential elections, going back to 1982. The map also includes current population data.

Some findings from the analyses:

  • In Alaska, youth make up 25.6% of the state’s population—the second highest rate in the country.
  • In the 2010 midterm election, 59.6% of registered youth went to the polls in Colorado, 11 percentage points higher than the national average.
  • Young people make up almost a quarter of the resident population in the Arizona 9th, and in the last midterm election over 27,000 youth cast a ballot. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D) is defending a seat she won in 2012 by less than 10,000 votes.
  • The Iowa 3rd includes many college campuses, and in the 2010 midterm young people cast 13% of votes in the district—more than twice the national average.

Explore our analyses and maps through the above links, or browse through CIRCLE’s 2014 Election Center.

Stay connected to CIRCLE on Facebook and Twitter to learn more. Sign up here for CIRCLE’s monthly e-update.

Updated Trends by Race, Ethnicity, and Gender

We recently updated our Quick Facts page on civic engagement trends by race, ethnicity, and gender. Some highlights:

– Since the 1972 election, young women have consistently voted at a higher rate than young men.

– In 2008, more than half of Asian and Latino youth were either politically marginalized or civically alienated.

– Young people who attended racially diverse high schools report lower levels of electoral engagement.

See the Trends by Race, Ethnicity, and Gender
Quick Facts HERE.

CIRCLE in the News

Our 2014 election analysis has been recently featured in several media outlets, such as:

– The New Orleans Advocate: “Report says young voters key to U.S. Senate race in Louisiana

– The Madison County Courier: “New York’s 23rd Congressional District: Interactive Map Shows Youth Vote to Watch in Election

– KJZZ (Phoenix Public Radio): “Two Arizona Congressional Districts Could Be Decided By Young Voters

In addition, CIRCLE Director Peter Levine recently wrote about participatory budgeting in Boston for openDemocracy: “You can add us to equations but they never make us equal: participatory budgeting in Boston

© 2010 CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)

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Find more analysis in our 2016 Election Center. For regular updates in your Inbox about youth and the 2016 election, sign up for CIRCLE's monthly E-Update here.

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