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Record-Breaking Youth Turnout in New York Fueled by Participation in Democratic Primary

April 20th, 2016
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Estimated youth voter turnout in yesterday’s New York primary was 14%, surpassing the previous record of 12% set in 2000 and matched in 2008. Overall, an estimated 408,000 young people cast ballots in New York, making up an estimated 15% of all voters in the state primary.

New York was the first state this election season in which Republican youth participation did not set a new record of votes cast, and young people made up 10% of New York Republican primary voters. However, youth did turn out in record-breaking numbers for the Democratic primary, and young people made up a larger proportion of all voters in that contest (18%) than they have in recent primary years.

NYTable1

18 to 24-year-olds Show Strong Support for Sanders, but 25 to 29-year-olds More Split

An estimated 322,000 young people cast ballots in the New York Democratic primary, up from 258,000 in 2008.

NYTable2

As in previous states this primary season, young people, ages 18-29, as a whole were more likely to support Senator Sanders (65%) than Secretary Clinton (35%). However, unlike in some previous states where Senator Sanders had overwhelming support from all youth under 30, in New York he fared much better with 18 to 24-year-olds, garnering 81% of their votes, than with 25 to 29-year-olds, who gave him just 53% support.

NYFigure1

On the Republican side, youth participation in New York exceeded that of 2008, but did not match the previous record set in 2000. An estimated 86,000 young people participated in yesterday’s New York Republican primary, making up about 10% of all voters, according to the Edison Research exit poll. This exit poll, however, did not have a large enough youth sample to report out on how young people divided their support among the presidential candidates in the Republican primary.

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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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