Six in 10 young voters on Tuesday night picked Barack Obama

The Chronicle of Higher Education notes that the strength of support for the president surprised many people who study elections.

About half of eligible voters age 18 to 29 cast ballots, according to initial tallies by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. More precise number crunching may bump up the youth-turnout rate, now 49 percent, to 51 percent, said the center, which is known as Circle. Four years ago, it adjusted an early estimate of 48 percent to 52 percent of young voters.

Turnout in that bracket, then, seems to have remained relatively steady despite overall national declines of up to four percentage points, to a rate of about 58 percent, since the last presidential election. This year young people represented 19 percent of all voters, an increase of one percentage point over 2008.

Among advocates and observers of young voters, turnout is evidence of engagement, as well as electoral influence.

“Confounding almost all predictions, the youth vote held up in 2012 and yet again was the deciding factor,” Peter Levine, director of Circle, said in a written statement. In a news conference on Wednesday with Rock the Vote, he proclaimed that strong turnout rates were here to stay: “This is a new normal, where about half of the millennial generation is voting.”

This entry was posted in 2012 Presidential election, Barack Obama, college students, democracy, voters, voting, Young people and news. Bookmark the permalink.

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