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

Republican-Allied Groups Target Young Voters

August 20th, 2012
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We recently wrote about the long-term trend in youth vote choice in Presidential elections. Since 1972, the percentage of young voters supporting both parties has varied. The biggest difference in the candidates’ youth support was 34 percentage points, and that was in 2008 when President Obama received 66% of youth votes. It seems that in 2012 Republican-allied groups are trying to react to this.

Much research suggests that reaching out to young people gets them to vote. That can mean turning out youth who you know agree with you, and trying to change the minds of youth who either disagree or are on-the-fence. On the Republican side, efforts are underway to do one or both of these things. Here are some:

  • Young Americans for Romney, a component of the Romney/Ryan campaign, has launched several youth-focused opportunities, including:
    • Ways to stay updated on the campaign, like text updates and conference calls with elected officials and prominent young Republicans
    • Opportunities to be involved, such as National Young Americans for Romney Call Night, positions as campus leaders, and unpaid internships for college students or recent graduates
  • Today the College Republican National Committee (CRNC) “launch[ed] historic youth grassroots effort for GOP”. The CRNC reported that this major investment in field infrastructure is the largest in its long history.
  • Maverick PAC is “engaging next generation Republican leaders from business, politics and law”
  • Crossroads Generation, an Independent Expenditure Committee, is targeting youth in swing states
  • Generation Opportunity has been using the web strategies and offline events to involve youth frustrated with the state of the economy
  • A “film and entertainment festival”, Troublemaker Fest will be held in Tampa during the RNC
  • Red Alert Politics suggests that the Republican National Committee’s new 2012 platform site is a specific attempt to provide young people a way to participate

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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