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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Youth Poll Shows Engagement and Intention-to-Vote Rises Since Summer, Many Factors Influence Youth Voting

Throughout this week, CIRCLE has been releasing analysis of our mid-October youth poll. The survey is unique in that it polled 1,695 youth (ages 18-29) in June/July and 1,109 of the same youth between October 12 and 23. Below is a summary of the main findings, as well as a graphic connecting past research on youth voting to the poll data.

Here is a review of some of our main findings:

Young Voters and the Horserace: 52.1% Obama v. 35.1% Romney; In Three Months, Intention to Vote Rises 9.9  Points

The proportion saying they are extremely likely to vote has risen 9.9 points, from 44.7% to 54.6%. Two-thirds (67.3%) of young adults are “very” or “extremely” likely to vote, up 7.1 percentage points since June/July

The proportion who are paying attention to the election has also risen, from 56.1% to 71%.

If the election were held today, Obama would win the youth vote by 52.1% to 35.1% among those registered voters who are “extremely likely to vote.”

Although a slightly higher percentage of young people report being contacted by at least one of the campaigns (12.6% in the summer and 15.1% in Mid-October),  a vast majority of young people (84.9%) have not been contacted or are unsure whether they have been contacted. More of those who have been asked to vote have been contacted on behalf of Obama (59.7%) than Romney (32.1%).

Knowledge Of State Voting Laws Still Lacking

Over 40% of young Americans “don’t know” key information about voting process

There has been some change in youth knowledge of significant voting laws from summer to mid-October

20% of youth do not have a current driver’s license.

Since Summer, Obama Gains 10 Points with African-American Youth and 14 Points with Latino Youth

Since July, Romney has lost support from some young likely voters: Black youth (-5 percentage points) & Hispanic youth (-17 percentage points)

White youth are more likely to know photo ID laws in their states (36%) than Black youth (28.8%) or Hispanic youth (20.9%)

Young people, regardless of race and ethnicity, are more likely to say they had been paying “some” attention to the upcoming election than they were in June/July. Black and White youth are the most likely to say they pay “some or a lot of attention” to the news (72.9% and 72.4%, respectively), while 66.8% of Hispanic youth say the same. However, Hispanic youth have a strong core of young people who follow the election with 27.7% paying “a lot” of attention (compared to White youth (23.4%) and Black youth (19.4%)).

Hispanic youth are slightly more likely to say that they have been contacted by a campaign (18.0%) compared to White and Black youth (14.5% vs 15.6%, respectively).

Outreach to youth: 11.5% of college youth but just 5.8% of non-college youth have been contacted on behalf of Obama; 3.5% of college youth and 6.6% of non-college youth for Romney

Non-college youth have been less likely to be contacted on behalf of a campaign. The Romney campaign and its supporters appear to have contacted more non-college youth, whereas youth with college backgrounds were about three times more likely to have been contacted on behalf of Obama.

Youth with college experience are more likely than youth without college experience to correctly identify the photo ID laws and the early voting laws in their states.

Young adults do not differ much by education in their preference for President Obama or former Governor Romney.

Youth without college experience are slightly more likely than youth with college backgrounds to report that social networking or websites are important sources of information about registering and voting.

A great deal of research has shown what influences young people to vote. We’ve combined that research with this week’s poll data for this graphic:

5 Responses to “Youth Poll Shows Engagement and Intention-to-Vote Rises Since Summer, Many Factors Influence Youth Voting”

  1. Youth Engagement Rises Ahead Of Election Day, Survey Finds Young Voters Still Favor Obama | ABC Updater Says:

    [...] this year’s presidential campaign in increasing numbers as Election Day nears, according to a new survey released by The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and [...]

  2. Youth Engagement Rises Ahead Of Election Day, Survey Finds Young Voters Still Favor Obama : RobertJamesTV Says:

    [...] this year’s presidential campaign in increasing numbers as Election Day nears, according to a new survey released by The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and [...]

  3. Survey: Youth Engagement Up Ahead Of Election Day, Young Voters Leaning To Obama | Political Ration Says:

    [...] this year’s presidential campaign in increasing numbers as Election Day nears, according to a new survey released by The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and [...]

  4. 4 Election Day Coverage Highlights - Getting Smart by Getting Smart Staff - edchat, edleaders, EdTech Says:

    [...] Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) published interesting stats on what influences youth voting. We found it interesting that today’s youth is more likely to [...]

  5. Youth Engagement Rises Ahead Of Election Day, Survey Finds Young Voters Still Favor Obama | North Carolina news Says:

    [...] this year’s presidential campaign in increasing numbers as Election Day nears, according to a new survey released by The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and [...]

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