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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Updated Estimate: Youth Turnout was 50% in 2012; Youth Turnout in Battleground States 58%

On Wednesday, CIRCLE released our exclusive estimate of youth voter turnout in the 2012 election. With more votes counted, we have updated our estimate, and we now show that 50% of youth turned out to vote.

Our updated data estimate is that 23 million youth voted in the 2012 election. We also updated our estimates 2 days after the 2008 election, and this year’s update shows that the virtually the same number of youth voted in 2008 and 2012.

Youth Turnout in Competitive States

Research on youth electoral participation has often shown that young people are more likely to turn out to vote when asked by someone in their close network, or when contacted by campaigns and civic organizations. Using pre-election predictions for the competitiveness of states, we’ve estimated youth voter turnout for “toss-up” states (i.e. those where pre-election polling showed a virtual tie), states where pre-election polling showed one candidate with a small lead, and “non-battleground” states.

The results show, again, that youth respond to increased activity. Our estimates of youth voter turnout in pre-election toss-up states is 58%. In states that leaned one direction pre-election, youth turnout was 55%, and in non-battleground states youth turnout was 47%. On Wednesday we also showed that youth were critical to President Obama’s win in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida. This level of youth turnout is directly related to that result for the President. The results are likely the result of investment in youth outreach by campaigns and youth-focused organizations in these states.

Stay tuned for more CIRCLE analysis of young people’s participation in the 2012 election.

11 Responses to “Updated Estimate: Youth Turnout was 50% in 2012; Youth Turnout in Battleground States 58%”

  1. Youth voter turnout helps decide presidential election « Jayhawks Decide Says:

    [...] people ages 18 to 29 was 49.3 percent. The Center for Research and Information on Civic Learning (CIRCLE) updated that total on Friday to 50 percent, or 23 million young [...]

  2. The Youth Vote and the Future of the Republican Party | The MacArthur Network on Transitions to Adulthood Says:

    [...] mobilization strategy that sent the same numbers of Millennials to the polls in 2012. Youth turnout was 50% in this election, and 59% in battleground [...]

  3. The 11-Point Swing: Tactics for Republican Victory in 2014 « Hillsdale Natural Law Review Says:

    [...] youth vote swung against Obama despite the fact that more young people voted in 2012 than in 2008. In 2008, 66% of the 22 million Millennials who made it to the polls [...]

  4. Latinos Aging Into the Electorate | Seniors & Boomers World News Says:

    [...] for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. In toss-up states, youth voter turnout was higher, at 58 percent. (The national turnout rate this year, at 57.5 percent, was lower than in [...]

  5. Redefining the Youth Bloc: Giving 16-Year-Olds the Vote - Says:

    [...] last week, the Facebook generation’s political punch can’t be taken lightly. With an estimated 23 million young voters coming to the polls, it was the bloc of 21- to 29-year-olds that kept key states Ohio, [...]

  6. Could Marijuana Initiatives Swing the Youth Vote in Future Electi - Weed Watch Magazine Forums - A Marijuana 420 Publication for Stoners | Powered by Cannabis Says:

    [...] The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) estimated about 50 percent of young Americans voted this cycle, down slightly from about 52 percent in 2008. Kei [...]

  7. Youth Voters Bring Their Environmental Activism to Climate Change : Living Green Magazine Says:

    [...] According to CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, 50% of 18-29 year olds voted in the 2012 presidential election. This represents a 2% drop from 2008, when voters of all demographics voted in unusually high [...]

  8. Youth and Social Entrepreneurship | Social Entrepreneur Guide Says:

    [...] Obama was inaugurated this month for a second term, it was in large part due to the youth vote. According to the Tufts University-based Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement [...]

  9. the new manipulative politics: behavioral economics, microtargeting, and the choice confronting Organizing for Action « Peter Levine Says:

    [...] the Obama reelection campaign got its voters out, including (as we find) young voters–notwithstanding evidence that they were relatively unenthusiastic during the [...]

  10. Youth vote down significantly in 2012 elections | Social Capital Blog Says:

    [...] those ages 18-24 dropped 7.3 percentage points from 2008 to 2012, to 41.2%. This contravenes a CIRCLE report that preliminary turnout in 2012 was closer to 50%. [These declines have undone a lot of the [...]

  11. For these students, third-party candidate are their first choices | Teen Observer Says:

    [...] Meanwhile, turnout among youth voters — commonly considered those between the ages of 18 and 29 — has increased steadily over the past decade. Participation in the 2012 election was 50 percent among this age group, and 58 percent in battleground states, according to The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. [...]

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