On November 3, CIRCLE released a preliminary estimate of youth turnout (the voting rate among all citizens between the ages of 18 and 29): 20.4%. In other words, about one in five young citizens voted. Our estimate was based, in part, on the number of ballots that were cast. As additional ballots have been recorded, our estimate of youth voter turnout has risen somewhat.
We now estimate that the 2010 youth turnout rate was 20.9%, which would imply that about 9.2 million young people voted. Using the same method and the same adjusted tallies from past elections, youth turnout was 23.5% in 2006, 20.9% in 2002, 23.6% in 1998, and 23.9% in 1994. In other words, youth turnout this year appears the same as in 2002 and 3.1% lower than in 2006, but that difference is just within the margin of error.
In predominantly Democratic (“blue”) states, youth turnout was 18.8%. In predominantly Republican (“red”) states, turnout was 22.6%. In competitive (“purple”) states, turnout was 23.6%. In states targeted by several non-partisan youth voting groups, youth turnout was 21.4%. In the states least targeted by those groups, the turnout was 20.5%.