Preliminary exit poll data indicate that young people (ages 18-29) represented 13% of the voters in today’s elections, according to the early release of National Exit Poll (NEP) data conducted by Edison Research.
It is important to note that preliminary national exit poll data are subject to adjustments (also known as “reweighting”) by the NEP; in 2010, the youth share was adjusted twice shortly after the election.
If the 2014 youth share remains at this amount, this is an increase from 2010, when young people represented 12% of voters (revised up from an early youth share estimate of 9-10%) in the midterm election, according to the NEP. This youth share is very similar to that seen in midterm elections since 1994.
|Midterm Year||Youth Share of Electorate|
Source: NEP National Exit Poll, 1994-2014. Exit polls are conducted by Edison Research http://www.edisonresearch.com/election_polling.php.
Tomorrow we will release an exclusive youth turnout estimate for the 2014 election. Turnout is the only statistic that measures either an increase or decrease in youth voting this election, as youth share —the percentage of voters who are between the ages of 18 and 29—does not indicate whether there was a rise in youth turnout. (In 2004, for example, the youth share of the vote remained constant even though youth turnout rose. See the image below for more information on the difference between turnout and share.)
CIRCLE’s exclusive youth turnout estimate will be released on this site tomorrow, along with further analysis of the role of youth in the 2014 midterm election.