Thursday, November 16, 2006

Young Voters Democratic for the Second Straight Election

For those who Program their stations to the 18-29 Demo.
Important view of who they are can be gleaned from this info.

Pew Research Center analysis of Youth Vote 2oo6.

Voters under 30 were John Kerry's best age group in 2004, giving the Massachusetts senator 54% of their vote (Kerry did not win any other age group). The Democrats did even better among this age group this year, with Democratic House candidates getting 60% of the vote compared with 38% for Republican candidates. Democrats also won by wider-than-average margins in key Senate races such as Montana, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

Age and Congressional Vote, 2002-2006
Sources: Exit polls conducted by VNS (2002) and NEP (2004, 2006). Votes for other candidates not shown.

And there are signs that this Democratic tilt among the young may be around for a while. While party affiliation among all voters was 38% Democratic and 35% Republican, the partisan balance among voters under age 30 was 43% Democratic and 31% Republican. In 2002, Republicans narrowly outnumbered Democrats among the young. Moreover, more young voters said they are liberal (34%) than said they are conservative (25%); among voters 30 and older, 33% identified as conservative and 18% were liberal. President Bush's approval rating among young voters was just 34%, compared with 43% among the whole voting public.

Age and Party Affiliation, 2002-2006
Sources: Exit polls conducted by VNS (2002) and NEP (2004, 2006).

No single issue stood out as especially important to young voters. Compared with other voters, fewer young voters rated corruption, immigration, Iraq, and terrorism as "extremely important." Similar numbers of younger and older voters rated the economy and values issues as extremely important. Unlike older voters, however, younger voters who cited terrorism, immigration, and values issues actually voted Democratic in their choice for the House of Representatives.

Young voters were significantly closer to the Democratic Party on the issue of Iraq, with 63% saying they disapprove of the war in Iraq (compared with 57% overall), and more than two-thirds (68%) saying they favor the withdrawal of some or all American troops from Iraq (60% of voters overall take this position).

The exit poll suggests that many young voters were still in play as the campaign drew to a close. Nearly a third of young voters (31%) said they made up their minds about how to vote in the final days of the campaign, substantially more than among other voters (17%). Nearly two thirds of these late deciders voted Democratic.


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