Since Election Day, CIRCLE’s analysis has focused on whom young people voted for, how many voted, and which segments of the youth population cast their ballots—placing each in historical context by examining trends from recent elections. Today’s analysis looks more deeply at the youth vote in the 2016 presidential race, offering a breakdown of young people’s support for each major candidate and for the political parties they represent. We also consider the long-term implications, for both Democrats and Republicans, of a youth electorate that is increasingly loathe to identify strongly with either major party.
Major findings include:
The Youth Electorate
- CIRCLE analysis suggests that young people voted at a similar rate than in 2012 – around 50%. In 11 battleground states, on aggregate, 55% of youth turned out to vote.
- The racial and ethnic composition of the 2016 youth electorate closely mirrored the general population of young citizens, and remained as diverse as it has been since 2008, though this year there was a surge of young, White, male voters.
- Young people without college experience, already historically underrepresented, made up a smaller share of the young people who cast ballots than in recent elections.
- Less than 4 in 10 young voters identified with the Democratic Party and less than 3 in 10 identified with the Republican Party, suggesting that America’s two major parties are having trouble attracting a substantial youth base.
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