Although young people favored President Obama, their level of support for him varied greatly by gender and race, ranging from 98% among Black women to 41% among White men. This CIRCLE fact sheet (PDF) takes a deeper look at how young men and women voters of different racial backgrounds voted, why they chose to vote the way they did, and how they differed from other groups.
Some findings from this analysis include:
★ Young White women’s influence in the youth electorate has decreased since 2008, while Hispanic influence has increased: 42% of young voters were persons of color, and for the first time, the Hispanic youth vote share surpassed the Black youth vote share. In 2008, the Hispanic youth vote represented 14% of the youth electorate. This year, it increased to 18%. Asian-American voters represented five percent of the youth vote in 2012.
★ Young Black and Hispanic women provided the strongest support for President Obama. A majority admired him, much as they did in 2008.
★ Young White men, as a group, held a quite different view of the President, the role of the government, and how to move forward with immigration reform than all the other groups. They were unhappy with the economy and wanted Governor Romney to improve the economy.
★ Young Hispanic men cast 9% of youth votes, up from 6% in 2008. Among the minority groups, they were most likely to affiliate with the Republican party or consider themselves independents, but two-thirds of them voted for President Obama.
★ Although a majority of young Black male voters supported President Obama again, a larger portion of them voted for the Republican candidate this year than the same group did in 2008. Young Black men voters were somewhat more conservative, younger and more likely to identify as Republicans or Independents in 2012 than in 2008. They were less likely to vote for Obama than young Black women this year, but Black men voters were already less excited about Obama than Black women voters back in 2008, implying a lasting gender gap in enthusiasm among young Black voters.
Download the fact sheet here (PDF). Look for more analysis from CIRCLE this week.