Rock the Vote Research Archives

Polling Young Voters Volume IX 
20 May 2008

The latest volume of Rock the Vote’s Polling Young Voters takes a look at young voters’ top issues and issue
stances, presidential vote choice, and communications habits. The report contains young voter poll results from
recent Cook Political Report/R.T. Strategies, The Economist, Harvard Institute of Politics, Democracy Corps, and MTV-CBS News polls.


Winning Young Voters Handbook 
01 May 2008

April 2008 – Our premier handbook for campaigns, organizations, and parties interested in mobilizing young voters. This handbook contains information about the demographics and voting habits of young adults and best practices for registering and turning out 18-29 year olds to the polls.


How to Build and Maintain a Young Voter Target List,  
01 Apr 2007


Young Voter Battleground Poll III 
08 Nov 2006

Nov. 8, 2006 – Turnout among 18-29 year old voters increased by approximately 2 million voters in the 2006 elections compared to 2002, according to an early exit poll analysis released today. Also released, a new bipartisan Rock the Vote poll shows that in 2006 young voters were motivated primarily by a strong desire for change, combined with high levels of contact from campaigns and nonpartisan organizations: 61% of those who were surveyed said they feel the country is on the “wrong track” and 46% reported being contacted by a campaign.


Partisanship: A Lifelong Loyalty that Develops Early 
01 Feb 2007

Several studies and electoral history show that partisanship develops in early adulthood – the youth vote years. Young adults are more likely than older adults to identify as Independent, a commonsense situation for a group of voters new to politics. Because early adulthood is a time when partisan leanings are forming, young adults are ripe for outreach from political parties and organizations. And a person’s party identification, once formed, remains remarkably stable over a lifetime.


Voting is a Habit 
01 Feb 2007

One of the most robust empirical regularities discovered in political science is that past voting behavior is a good predictor of future voting behavior. In both 2004 and 2006 young voter turnout increased compared to past election cycles. In other words, millions more young adults have voted in past elections and have begun to become habitual voters. Looking ahead to 2008, young voters are likely to turn out in increased numbers once again.


New Poll: 18-30-Year-Olds to Play Major Role in 2008 Elections, Driven by Concerns Over Iraq and Health Care 
01 Nov 2007

Nov. 1, 2007 – Eighteen- to 30-year-old voters turned out in large numbers for elections in 2004 and 2006 – and according to a new nationwide poll from Rock the Vote, WWE®’s Smackdown Your Vote!®, and Sacred Heart University, that trend is likely to continue in 2008 as younger voters go to the polls motivated by concerns over the war in Iraq, health care, the economy, and the cost of education. The poll found that Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are currently the top primary choices among 18-30-year-old Democrats and Republicans.


Young Voter Myths and Facts 
01 Dec 2007

Given recent media interest in young voters, particularly as the primaries approach, Rock the Vote created a new factsheet, Young Voter Myths and Facts (PDF), as a quick and easy resource outlining key facts about the youth vote. Also included is the latest young voter primary polling, including updates from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and nationwide polls.


Polling Young Voters Vol VIII 
19 Feb 2008

The latest volume of Rock the Vote’s Polling Young Voters takes a look at young voters’ level of interest in the 2008 elections, political party identification, top issues, and preferences for president and Congress in 2008. From recent RT Strategies, Democracy Corps, Harris Interactive, Time Magazine, Pew Research Center, and YouGov/Polimetrix polls, this report delves into which 2008 candidates are currently winning support from the large and potentially powerful youth electorate, and which issues are driving them to the polls.


Polling Young Voters, Volume VII 
15 Nov 2007

The latest volume of Polling Young Voters is available. Download the report here. (PDF) Volume VII of Rock the Vote’s Polling Young Voters, based on several recent national and statewide polls, takes a look at young voters’ level of interest in the 2008 elections, political party identification, primary vote choice, and preferences for president and Congress in 2008.


Polling Young Voters, Volume VI – September 2007 
05 Sep 2007

Volume VI of Rock the Vote’s Polling Young Voters, based on 10 recent national polls, takes a look at young voters’ level of interest in the 2008 elections, political party identification, and preferences for president and Congress in 2008


Young Voter Mobilization Tactics II 
05 Jun 2007

Going into the 2006 elections, campaigns and parties knew it would be crucial to turn out every supporter on Election Day – and they put the money and people-power into target races to make it happen. What was a change from recent elections, however, was that an increased number of campaigns and coordinated state efforts targeted young voters in 2006. Overall, 2006 youth outreach efforts proved that if you work the youth vote, it works. Our findings indicate that person-to-person outreach, candidate and experienced staff involvement, strategic use of online social networks, and list-building efforts contributed to increased turnout of young voters and to the success of many 2006 campaigns.


Young Voter Mobilization Tactics 
01 Jan 2007

• For campaigns and nonprofits: a compilation of electoral field research, including the effectiveness and cost per vote turned out by canvassing, volunteer phone calls, robocalls, direct mail, email, and more. Conducted with the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE).


Young Voter Turnout 2008 – Primaries and Caucuses 
05 Mar 2008

Brief summary of young voter participation to date in the 2008 presidential primaries and caucuses. Overall youth turnout has doubled compared to past elections, and young voters are increasing their share of the vote within both parties.


Rock the Vote Young Voter Poll 
25 Feb 2008

Nationwide Survey of 18-29 year-olds


Poll: Young Voter Turnout Increases for Second Major Election in a Row, November 2006 
01 Nov 2006

Turnout among 18-29 year old voters increased by approximately 2 million voters in the 2006 elections compared to 2002, according to an early exit poll analysis released today. Also released, a new bipartisan Rock the Vote poll shows that in 2006 young voters were motivated primarily by a strong desire for change, combined with high levels of contact from campaigns and nonpartisan organizations: 61% of those who were surveyed said they feel the country is on the “wrong track” and 46% reported being contacted by a campaign.


Polling Young Voters, Volume I: Pre-Election 2006 
14 Sep 2006

With the 2006 elections just weeks away, Polling Young Voters Volume I outlines the top issues and political attitudes of young voters in the 2006 elections. The new report analyzes polling data from many of America’s top pollsters, including The Pew Research Center, Quinnipiac Polling Institute, and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.


Polling Young Voters, Volume II: Post Election 2006 
14 Dec 2006

This report outlines findings that the war in Iraq, education, the economy, and health care were the primary issues driving young voters in 2006, as well as an overall desire for a change in the governing country’s direction. In addition, while young adults overall voted in favor of Democrats by 20 points, polling indicates that both political parties have potential base voters among youth subsets: African-Americans, Hispanics, and women for Democrats, and young religious and married adults for Republicans. See the news release here.


Polling Young Voters Vol IV 
07 May 2007

The latest Rock the Vote analysis of national polls finds young adults’ interest in politics is high and that core national security and pocketbook issues are on their minds – but 19 months before the 2008 general election, many young voters are keeping their options open in terms of presidential candidate support.


Top Ten Tips to Mobilize Young Voters 
05 Jun 2007

Political campaigns can effectively bring young voters to the polls by integrating a few simple tactics in their normal campaign activities.


Polling Young Voters Vol V 
02 Jul 2007

Rock the Vote’s latest round-up of young voter polling is now available, and includes the latest polling on young adults’ electoral engagement, top issues, partisan preferences, and 2008 vote choices. Looking at the young adults’ responses from several national polls, the new Rock the Vote paper – Polling Young Voters Volume V- finds several trends continuing among this cohort: they are paying attention to and engaged in politics, optimistic about their civic role and the future, growing more and more concerned about the Iraq war, and increasingly identifying with the Democratic Party. Polling Young Voters V includes young adults’ responses from recent polling from Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, CBS News/The New York Times/MTV, Pew Research Center, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, and RT Strategies National Omnibus Poll.


Young Voter Battleground Poll I 
16 May 2006

Exciting new research by leading pollsters Ed Goeas (R) and Celinda Lake (D) shows how young voters ages 18-30 are thinking about the 2006 elections, how they would vote if the elections were today, what issues are of most concern, and what types of communication from campaigns they are open to.


Young Voter Battleground Poll II 
20 Sep 2006

With the 2006 elections just over six weeks away, young voters are most focused on education and the cost of college, jobs and the economy, and the war in Iraq, but are not hearing enough from either parties’ candidates on most of these important issues, according to a new Rock the Vote poll conducted by Ed Goeas of The Tarrance Group and Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners. The poll, which includes an oversample of young Latinos and young African-Americans, shows that young voters are engaged and eager to hear more from candidates on issues including college affordability, job creation, energy independence, and health care.