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Polling and Research

Justin Levitt: A comprehensive investigation of voter impersonation finds 31 credible incidents out of one billion ballots cast
August 6, 2014

Voter ID laws are back in the news once again, with two new opinions from the Wisconsin Supreme Court late last week dealing with the state's ID requirement, which would allow people to vote only if they provide certain forms of government-issued ID. The Court made some minor changes to the law but otherwise upheld it. However, the ID requirement is still on hold pending a federal lawsuit...

Pew Research Center: Millennials More Diverse, More Liberal than Previous Generations
March 7, 2014

Millennials, born after 1980, are more diverse, less conservative, less attached to a political party, and less religious than previous generations, according to the Pew Research Center. While detached from traditional institutions—churches, political parties, marriage—millennials create their own networks, and share personal content online. Based on the Pew Survey, the Washington Post concludes that the Millennial generation is rewriting tradition, forming new social bonds and using more technology than their parents and grandparents.

Harvard Institute of Politics Says Millennials Less Likely to Vote Now than in 2010
April 29, 2014

18-29 year olds are less likely to vote in the upcoming midterm elections than they were in the 2010 elections, according to April polling by Harvard’s Institute of Politics. Moreover, the percentage of voters who say they will “definitely be voting” in the midterm elections has fallen by ten percentage points since Harvard IOP polled last November—a steeper drop off than during the last election. The survey also contains information on party identification and intensity of engagement, categories where the Republicans poll more strongly than Democrats do for the upcoming races.

Source: Harvard Public Opinion Project

Are Young Liberals Disillusioned?
May 1, 2014

Salon Magazine reiterates that millennials have rejected many traditional institutions and tend to be liberal, but argues that today’s “deeply disillusioning” politics dampen millennial enthusiasm. To engage young voters, politicians should candidly acknowledge challenges facing young Americans, and address their concerns.

To Engage Millennials, Sell the Cause and Not the Organization

The 2013 Millennial Impact Report researches strategies for non-profits looking to connect with Millennials: they should communicate via technology, provide ways for volunteers to engage with their peers, and offer a variety of ways for individuals to support the group. Millennials, as informed media consumers, prefer content about a cause rather than the relevant organizations and 75% will like, retweet or share content on social media if it reinforces why they care about a cause in the first place.

Look to Registration, Media to Explain Why Young People Don’t Vote in Midterms
April 16, 2013

To get young people to vote in midterms, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) says to get young people to vote in midterms, more media outreach and better information on how to vote is needed. Turnout rose among young voters in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 presidential elections but stayed constant between 2006 and 2010., If campaigns want to engage young voters they have to focus on getting them informed and registered.

US Census Bureau Tracks Historical Trends in Voting-Age Population
April 24, 2014

The US Census Bureau reports that after increasing in 2004 and 2008, young voter participation fell by six percentage points in the 2012 Presidential Election. Some exceptions included states where older voters were highly engaged–there, younger voters participated in higher numbers. Several of these states, like Colorado and New Hampshire, were closely contested in 2012, but others, like Minnesota, reflect traditionally high voter turnout in every age group. The Census Bureau attributes some of the long-term decline, from a high of 50.9% in 1964 to 38% in 2012, to an increase in the noncitizen population (who is ineligible to vote), but the decline between 2008 and 2012 controls for this population change.

Marijuana Ballot Measures: Not a Way to Get Young Voters to Poll
May 1, 2014

While exit polls in Colorado, Washington and Oregon demonstrate higher young voter turnout in the 2012 elections than in the 2008 elections, more accurate census data counters these findings. Using U.S. Census data, the blog 538 says analysts who hope to tie youth turnout to ballot measures on marijuana decriminalization are jumping to conclusions. While Washington, Oregon and Colorado all had marijuana-related ballot measures, turnout among 18-29 year olds remain unchanged between 2008 and 2012. According to 538, states looking to improve youth turnout should not look to pot for their answer.

Young Voters are Skeptical Independents
March 2014

Third Way’s report on millennials calls them “political explorers” who are more tolerant of racial and ethnic diversity, identify as political independents, and question American exceptionalism. Potentially more cynical than previous generations, millennials are skeptical of government efficacy—although they still favor expanded government services.

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