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

E-Update: Youth Turnout At Least 49%, 22-23 Million Under-30 Voted

November 7th, 2012
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Youth Turnout at Least 49%, 22-23 Million Under-30 Voted

Youth Vote, Strongly for Obama, Determines Outcome in Key Battleground States of PA, VA, FL, and OH

Today, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) – the preeminent youth research organization at Tufts University – released an exclusive turnout estimate showing that 22-23 million young Americans (ages 18-29), or at least 49%, voted in Tuesday’s presidential election, according to national exit polls, demographic data, and current counts of votes cast.

Young people represented 19% of the voters in yesterday’s election, with President Obama winning the majority of those votes over Governor Romney by 60% to 37%, according to the early released NEP.

“Confounding almost all predictions, the youth vote held up in 2012 and yet again was the deciding factor in determining which candidate was elected President of the United States,” said CIRCLE director Peter Levine. “Young people are energized and committed voters. Youth turnout of around 50% is the ‘new normal’ for presidential elections. Considering that there are 46 million people between 18 and 29, this level of turnout makes them an essential political bloc.”

Click here for more information on this analysis. CIRCLE will be continuing to analyze recent data and will be providing up-to-date information on the CIRCLE website, Facebook, and Twitter.

At Least 80 Electoral Votes Depended on Youth

In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, if Romney had won half the youth vote, or if young people had stayed home all together, he would have won those key battleground states.  A switch of those 80 electoral votes would have also changed the presidency, electing Romney as president.

Find more analysis and a graphic here

© 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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