CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
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Republican Youth Set Another Participation Record in South Carolina

February 21st, 2016
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While in both Nevada and South Carolina, only one party’s contests has occurred, young people have already impacted the races in each state. For the third contest in a row, the number of youth (ages 17-29) participating in Republican caucuses or primaries has exceeded previous years. Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, young people who participated have strongly preferred Senator Bernie Sanders over Secretary Hillary Clinton in three straight states, as well.

Strong Republican Youth Participation Continues

In South Carolina, close to 74,000 young people participated in the 2016 Republican primary, far exceeding 2008 and 2012. Youth who participated in the South Carolina Republican primary were most likely among all age groups to support Senator Ted Cruz (28%), making youth the only age group among which primary-winner Donald Trump did not have the most support. However, Trump was not far behind Cruz with 26% of youth votes, and Senator Marco Rubio not far behind him (22%).

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Young Democratic Caucus-Goers Build their Share of Participants

In Nevada’s Democratic caucus, young people made up a larger proportion of voters (18%) than in the 2008 caucus (13%). Young Democratic caucus goers (ages 17-29) showed overwhelming support for Senator Bernie Sanders over Secretary Hillary Clinton (82% to 14%), by far Sanders’ most supportive age group. This represents the third contest in a row that Sanders’ youth support has exceeded 80 percent.

NVSCResults2Looking at just the Nevada Democratic caucus, it appears that youth turnout for the state will at least approach 2008 participation, but given high Republican youth participation in other states, youth turnout could rival 2008. After the Nevada Republican caucus and the South Carolina Democratic primary, CIRCLE will calculate its exclusive youth turnout estimate for each state and update the table below.

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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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