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

October 2018 E-Update

October 17th, 2018
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New: Exclusive CIRCLE Poll of Youth, Ages 18-24, about the 2018 Midterms

Throughout this month we are releasing data and analysis from a brand new poll of young people and their political engagement ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. The poll looks at whether youth intend to vote next month—and for whom—but also tackles broader questions of civic engagement, generational efficacy, attention to political news, and more.

We have published three analyses so far, with more to follow in the coming days. Here are some initial findings from each post:

Youth Engagement in the 2018 Elections

  • 34% of young people are “extremely likely” to vote, an unusually high rate for midterms that comes close to the level of interest in presidential election cycles.
  • Youth prefer Democrats over Republicans, 45% to 26%. Black and Latino youth support Democrats more, and young white men slightly favor Republicans.
  • Family is the #1 way young people are learning about the election, and youth who are more likely to say they’ll vote also heard about the election from family the most.

Ahead of 2018 Midterms, A New Generation Finds its Political Voice

  • 81% of young people believe that, as a group, they have the power to change things in the country.
  • 61% of youth notice an increase in young people talking about social and political issues in their communities.
  • Half of young women say they consider themselves part of a group that will vote to express its views, compared to 43% of young men.

So Much for Slacktivism, As Youth Translate Online Engagement to Offline Political Action

  • More young people are engaging in activism now than in 2016, and the percentage of youth who say they have attended a protest has tripled: 5% to 15%.
  • Online activism is connected to offline activism: youth who have signed a petition or followed a candidate online, are more than three times as likely to march, sit in, etc.
  • Youth are connecting activism and voting, with half of those who engage in offline activism saying they’re “extremely likely” to vote, vs. 30% who have not.

Check our website soon for more data from our poll, including analyses of youth media consumption and young people’s relationship to political parties. And explore all of our work related to the upcoming midterms in our 2018 Election Center.

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Media literacy is critical to participating in elections, and can be taught through youth media creation. 22×20 is releasing a series of lesson plans to do just this – the first is How Do You Meme? Memes for Mobilization. Check it out and share with teachers in your life!

22×20 is a network of media, cultural, and educational partners amplifying and diversifying teen voice, political expression, and media creation in the lead-up to the 2020 election and beyond. The network is co-led by CIRCLE and The LAMP.

Expanding the Electorate: Recommendations for Youth and Election Administrators

We recently published the final report of a project conducted jointly with Opportunity Youth United which aims to engage low-income young people and local election administrators in making elections more accessible to underserved youth.

The report offers ten recommendations or facilitating diverse young voters’ participation in elections.

Read more

CIRCLE in the News

– TIME: 18 in ’18: How First-Time Voters Could Affect the Midterms

– Washington Post: Taylor Swift and Rihanna told young people to register. They’re doing it, but are they going to actually vote?

-Roll Call: The Kids Are Alright — And They’re Voting in the Midterms, Study Finds

© 2010 CIRCLE (The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)

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