What Happened? Youth turnout was up Youth turnout had been declining since the 1970sdown by about one third Source: Census, analyzed by CIRCLE
What Happened? Youth turnout was up There are two main sets of exit polls for 04. Both show substantial increases in youth turnout. For 18-24s, turnout was up either 5.3 or 10.8 points to either 42% or 48% Census data will be available in about six months
What Happened? Youth turnout was up Approximately 21 million votes were cast by 18-29 year olds, and 10.5 million were cast by 18-24 year olds, both up sharply from 2000. Greatest turnout since 1992 and probably since the mid-1970s Based on exit polls and Census population data, analyzed by CIRCLE
What Happened? Battleground vs. non- battleground 18-29s. Source: exit polls, analyzed by CIRCLE
What Happened? Women and Men. 18-29s. Source: exit polls, analyzed by CIRCLE
What Happened? Young voters were interested in this election Source: MTV and MTV/CIRCLE polls
What happened? Young people were mobilized and mobilized others Of college students …. 47%and 57% of those who attend college in a battleground statesaid they were contacted by a political party during the campaign 62% said that they had encouraged or helped someone else to vote Source: Niemi/Hanmer survey funded by CIRCLE)
What happened? Most college students were permitted to vote Source: Niemi/Hanmer survey funded by CIRCLE)
What happened? Youth supported Kerry Source: exit polls
What happened? Young peoples issue priorities Source: exit polls
What happened? Kerry/Bush vote by college major (current college students. Source: Niemi/Hanmer survey funded by CIRCLE)
The Re-Engaged Generation Gen X vs. Gen Y They have different opinions than their older brothers and sisters. In comparing 18–29 year olds to 30–39 year olds, under 30s were: more likely to identify as liberal by 12 points; Less likely to call themselves conservative by 7 points; favored gay marriage by 16 points; More likely to believe that government should do more to solve problems by 5 points.
Why did it happen? This is NOT Generation X. They are different They voted. They paid more attention to election news than 2000. UCLA reports that youth interest in politics is on the rise for the first time in two decades. Volunteering is up for young people. Over half volunteered in 2002. They watch less TV They are more trusting of government and more pro- government
Why did it happen? This is NOT Generation X. There are more of them They are more numerous. They have a much stronger generational identity
Why did it happen? Unprecedented efforts to reach them. Investing time and money pays off in new voters. The six largest non-partisan youth vote organizations, spent $40 million dollars on the most comprehensive young voter mobilization campaign in history. The Republicans employed the National College Republicans, what many consider the nations strongest college organizing force. The Democrats channeled their donor dollars to 527s, including the Young Voter Alliance and 21 st Century Democrats. Overall trend to face to face grassroots contact has a greater impact on new voters. First youth targeted ad buys by a presidential campaign.
Why did it happen? The media paid attention. Data, research and a coordinated message were vital to changing the story. Coverage of youth voting was up 120% compared to 2000. Coverage was more in-depth, focusing on tactics and the research. Coverage focused on the impact of young voters and their status as an up for grabs constituency. Coverage was cross-cutting – in local newspaper, in major national newspapers, on television, and among the chattering class. But it was also easy to go negative: Youth vote a bust.
Where do we go from here? Interest + Attention + Infrastructure
Where do we go from here? Capitalizing on 2004 Organizers: Thousands of young people were trained as grassroots organizers. Technology: Every youth voting effort used technology to track and communicate with the young people they registered and mobilized. Political interest: Candidates for the two 2005 open governorships have placed college tuition affordability at the top of their election agendas. Issue Frame: According to both USA Today and The Washington Post, the Presidents social security agenda is being framed as a generational issue to build a base of youth voters. President Bush just announced an $19.3 billion plan to increase Pell Grants.
Where do we go from here? Creating a political constituency. Example: Seniors vote and engage on issues. In turn, politicians pay attention, targeting them in campaigns and when making policy. Can we do the same for young people? Political Attention Political Engagemen t Issue Attention Voting
Where do we go from here? Creating a Political Constituency Register more young people. Engage on issues. Mobilize young voters in 2005 and 2006 elections. Tell the story.