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Young Voters Had A Historic Turnout At The Polls, Study Finds

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Young Voters Had A Historic Turnout At The Polls, Study Finds
More young voters cast their ballots in the 2018 Midterms than in the past six midterm elections, according to a new study.
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Young voters showed up at the polls at historic rates this midterm election. 

Thirty-one percent of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 made it to the polls this election cycle, according to a new analysis from The Center for Information and Research On Civic Learning or CIRCLE at Tufts University. 

That’s about ten percentage points higher than 2014 and the highest rate of youth voter turnout in midterms over the last two decades. 

But the overall share of youth voter turnout didn't change. That’s because older voters also participated at higher levels. Young people made up just 13% of the total vote this election cycle, according to CIRCLE. That’s on track with the last six midterm cycles. 

Exit polls showed that young voters strongly favored Democratic candidates. According to CIRCLE, 67 percent of youth cast their votes for Democratic House candidates, while 32 percent chose a Republican candidate. 

That made a big difference in states with very close gubernatorial and Senate races. 

Like in Wisconsin where Democrat Tony Evers beat Incumbent Republican Gov. Scott Walker by just 1.2 percentage points. There, 60 percent of voters under the age of 30 supported Evers, compared just 37 percent who favored Walker. 

And in Georgia, where the Governor's race between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp is still too close to call, young voters favored Abrams over Kemp 63 percent to 36 percent. 

Youth voter turnout was also higher overall in states that had hot button ballot issues, like Florida's voting rights measure and Michigan's recreational marijuana measure.   

Overall young voters said health care and immigration were the most important issues for them in the midterm elections, according to CIRCLE.