Obama at 52% and Romney at 35% among youth

CIRCLE today released a poll of young people’s views of the election. Our survey, commissioned by the Youth Education Fund, is unique in that it polled 1,695 youth (ages 18-29) in June/July and 1,109 of the same youth between October 21 and 23. Surveying the same people twice provides powerful evidence of change over time.

  • 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.”

My quote from our press release: “The conventional wisdom holds that youth enthusiasm is down compared to 2008,” said CIRCLE Director Peter Levine. “But intent to vote is rising fast. President Obama has a majority of likely young voters behind him, but a significant proportion are open to voting for Governor Romney, who has a clear opportunity to improve over John McCain’s record-low support in 2008.”

I will be on MSNBC around 11:30 am eastern today, on WGBH-Boston’s Innovation Hub at around 1 pm today, and on KALW-San Franciso at 10 am Pacific tomorrow to discuss, and later I will post the audio or video here.

[Update: actually, MSNBC cancelled to cover Sandy 24/7. But the WGBH discussion with host Kara Miller and the Pew Research Center’s Paul Taylor is available online, here. And the KALW discussion with Ali Budner (the host) and Lee Rowland of the Brennan Center and Tova Andrea Wang of Demos is here.]

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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.