Two new studies, by CIRCLE and Pew, have found that young voters have been highly engaged in the primaries and cuacuses this election cycle. The studies are summarized in a great blog post at the Washington Post’s “The Trail” blog:
Some 6.5 million voters under 30 voted in this year’s primaries and caucuses, according to data compiled by CIRCLE. That’s a record figure, said CIRCLE director Peter Levine, and the first time the youth vote has risen in three consecutive election cycles (2004, 2006 and 2008) since the voting age was lowered to 18 in 1971. CIRCLE’s data shows that the overall national youth voter turnout rate almost doubled in eight years; it was 9 percent in 2000 and grew to 17 percent this year. In addition, of the 17 states in which primary exit polls were conducted in both 2000 and 2008, 16 saw increases in youth voter turnout, with some states showing a triple or quadruple jump. In the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, for example, the youth vote comprised 18 and 16 percent, respectively, of the total share of voters.