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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The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

Youth Voting/Political Participation

This series of research products addresses: youth voting trends, recent Presidential & midterm primaries, caucuses and elections, voting laws, what works in getting out the vote (GOTV), and local political parties and youth.

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Does the Age of a Presidential Candidate Matter to Young Voters?

Few young people say that the age of a candidate matters to them. Youth (ages 18-29) have voted for the younger of the presidential candidates in a majority of recent elections, but the younger candidates have also generally been Democrats, which may explain young people’s choices. Some previous research finds that having the option of Read More >

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Young Voters on 2016 Candidates: Meh

With the recent slew of announcements from prominent candidates, the 2016 presidential race is officially underway. If preliminary data from young voters in 2014 is any indicator, many of those candidates have a long way to go to show young voters they “would make a good president.” The last time young people voted was 2014, Read More >

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April 16th, 2015
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CIRCLE Research Supports Efforts to Lower Voting Age in Local Elections

In early January, Hyattsville, Maryland, took a major step to becoming the second city in America to extend voting rights to 16 and 17-year-old residents in local elections. In so doing, Hyattsville joined another Maryland city, Takoma Park, which allowed young people to vote in its 2013 municipal contests. Other initiatives to lower the voting Read More >

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January 21st, 2015
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Strong Link between Youth Thought about Election and Turnout in 2014 Midterms

An excellent predictor of youth turnout rates in midterm years is the proportion of young people who were thinking a lot about the election in advance. We also know from the exit polls that young adults who voted in 2014 had been following the election. The most important aspect of “enthusiasm” may thus be the Read More >

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December 17th, 2014
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New CIRCLE Estimate: 2014 Youth Turnout Was 22.2%

CIRCLE’s latest analysis of young people’s participation in last month’s midterm elections puts the youth turnout rate at 22.2%. Our previous youth turnout estimate, calculated two days after the election, was 21.5%. These estimates are determined by analyzing national exit polls, demographic data, and current counts of votes cast; as the latter number goes up, Read More >

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December 10th, 2014
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