the youth turnout story so far

From CIRCLE’s release this morning: “An estimated 1.8 million young people participated in Super Tuesday’s primaries and caucuses, almost a million youth in the Democratic contests and around 900,000 in the Republican contests. With a number of strong showings across many states, young people continued this year’s trend of high participation that rivals the numbers from 2008, when youth turnout in some cases tripled that of previous years. Young Republican participation, especially, has increased compared to 2008, sometimes by dramatic amounts. And in both parties young people are still not rallying around the frontrunners.”

CIRCLE also has a nifty new interactive tool that allows you to compare recent presidential campaigns’ youth support. One takeaway for me: Sanders is mobilizing almost as many young voters as Obama did in ’08. (Sanders’ percentage is larger, but the actual number is a bit smaller.) The young Obama voters in ’08 were on a bus that drove all the way to the White House. The Sanders voters will not have such a smooth ride. What difference will that make to their development as citizens and activists?

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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.