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

Special Election 2016 E-Update

November 9th, 2016
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 Special Edition: 2016 Presidential Election

An Estimated 24 Million Young People Vote, Favor Clinton over Trump by 55% to 37%

Republican nominee Donald Trump won a surprising electoral college victory last night, and he did so despite a youth electorate that strongly supported his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

Young voters, ages 18-29, supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump by 55% to 37%. Among young people of color, Clinton won by even more decisive margins.

The 37% youth support for the Republican candidate in 2016 equals the support garnered by Mitt Romney in 2012. However, youth support for the Democratic candidate dropped somewhat: it was 60% for President Obama’s reelection in 2012, and 55% for Clinton this year. Notably, while in the last presidential election 97% of young voters chose one of the two major party candidates, this year only 92% did so, as nearly 1 in 10 youth (8%) selected a third-party option or otherwise eschewed voting for Clinton or Trump.

Preliminary Youth Turnout Estimate 50%; Youth Share 19%

Our very preliminary youth voter turnout estimate suggests that 23.7 million young people, aged 18-29, voted in Tuesday’s election, for an estimated youth turnout rate of 50%. Young people made up almost one-fifth of all votes cast in the election.

While participation levels always vary from state to state, young people were especially critical in keeping the race close in the key battleground states of Michigan, Nevada, and New Hampshire.

Read more from our latest analysis here, and our initial election-night post here.

Stay connected to CIRCLE on Facebook and Twitter to learn more. Sign up here for CIRCLE’s monthly e-update.

Post-election Event at Brookings Institution

Thursday November 17
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Brookings Institution, Washington D.C.

Join us next week for a special post-election event: “The millennial vote in 2016: What happened and what’s next?”

Our experts, including CIRCLE Director Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, will present data on youth turnout, campaign contact, and the issues deemed most important by young voters. Brookings’ Bill Galston (founding CIRCLE director) will join CIRCLE, and we’ll have special guest respondents to round out the conversation.

CIRCLE in the News

NPR – “Here’s Why Hillary Clinton’s Troubles Aren’t Millennials’ Fault

The Washington Post – “Parallel universes, even among the young

Boston Globe – “The Power of Millennial Voters

Vox – “The case for allowing 16-year-olds to vote

© 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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