youth voting declined in 2012

(Washington, DC) After the Census Current Population Survey November Supplement data became available this week, we calculated final estimates of young people’s voting in the 2012 election. Please see this new fact sheet for detailed results. In short, the story has changed from what we believed immediately after the election. Using the best available data, we then said that youth turnout had reached the same level as in 2008–somewhat surprisingly. The CPS data suggests that there was actually a decline. This CIRCLE blog post explains the methodology.

We now estimate that approximately 14.8 million voters under 30 cast their votes for Barack Obama in 2008. But only about 12.3 million young voters chose Obama in 2012 — a drop of close to 2.5 million votes. Voter turnout in 2012 was 45% for people between the ages of 18-29, down from 51% in 2008.


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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.