Youth Poll Shows Engagement and Intention-to-Vote Rises Since Summer, Many Factors Influence Youth Voting
Throughout this week, CIRCLE has been releasing analysis of our mid-October youth poll. The survey is unique in that it polled 1,695 youth (ages 18-29) in June/July and 1,109 of the same youth between October 12 and 23. Below is a summary of the main findings, as well as a graphic connecting past research on youth voting to the poll data.
Here is a review of some of our main findings:
Young Voters and the Horserace: 52.1% Obama v. 35.1% Romney; In Three Months, Intention to Vote Rises 9.9 Points
★ The proportion saying they are extremely likely to vote has risen 9.9 points, from 44.7% to 54.6%. Two-thirds (67.3%) of young adults are “very” or “extremely” likely to vote, up 7.1 percentage points since June/July
★ The proportion who are paying attention to the election has also risen, from 56.1% to 71%.
★ If the election were held today, Obama would win the youth vote by 52.1% to 35.1% among those registered voters who are “extremely likely to vote.”
★ Although a slightly higher percentage of young people report being contacted by at least one of the campaigns (12.6% in the summer and 15.1% in Mid-October), a vast majority of young people (84.9%) have not been contacted or are unsure whether they have been contacted. More of those who have been asked to vote have been contacted on behalf of Obama (59.7%) than Romney (32.1%).
★ Over 40% of young Americans “don’t know” key information about voting process
★ There has been some change in youth knowledge of significant voting laws from summer to mid-October
★ 20% of youth do not have a current driver’s license.
★ Since July, Romney has lost support from some young likely voters: Black youth (-5 percentage points) & Hispanic youth (-17 percentage points)
★ White youth are more likely to know photo ID laws in their states (36%) than Black youth (28.8%) or Hispanic youth (20.9%)
★ Young people, regardless of race and ethnicity, are more likely to say they had been paying “some” attention to the upcoming election than they were in June/July. Black and White youth are the most likely to say they pay “some or a lot of attention” to the news (72.9% and 72.4%, respectively), while 66.8% of Hispanic youth say the same. However, Hispanic youth have a strong core of young people who follow the election with 27.7% paying “a lot” of attention (compared to White youth (23.4%) and Black youth (19.4%)).
★ Hispanic youth are slightly more likely to say that they have been contacted by a campaign (18.0%) compared to White and Black youth (14.5% vs 15.6%, respectively).
Outreach to youth: 11.5% of college youth but just 5.8% of non-college youth have been contacted on behalf of Obama; 3.5% of college youth and 6.6% of non-college youth for Romney
★ Non-college youth have been less likely to be contacted on behalf of a campaign. The Romney campaign and its supporters appear to have contacted more non-college youth, whereas youth with college backgrounds were about three times more likely to have been contacted on behalf of Obama.
★ Youth with college experience are more likely than youth without college experience to correctly identify the photo ID laws and the early voting laws in their states.
★ Young adults do not differ much by education in their preference for President Obama or former Governor Romney.
★ Youth without college experience are slightly more likely than youth with college backgrounds to report that social networking or websites are important sources of information about registering and voting.