POLITICS: PennAve

Young voters subject of new data-driven interactive project

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Politics,Steve Doty,Voter Registration,Campaigns,PennAve,Interactives,Demographics

A new interactive map released Wednesday aims to provide more detail about youth voter turnout in elections as both Democrats and Republicans continue their quest to get more younger voters to the polls.

Released by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement at Tufts University, the map shows voter turnout for ages 18-29, as well as the 30-and-up group, for all elections dating back to 1982.

"Every election season, we see a lot of discussion about young voters," said Peter Levine, director of CIRCLE. "Will they turn out? How big of an influence will they have on the results of specific races?"

The map could provide pollsters and campaign operatives with new, in-depth data on who votes as well as where to target youth votes in upcoming elections. For example, in the 2010 midterm elections that saw a dramatic push back against President Obama and the Affordable Care Act, only nine states got more than 30 percent of 18-29-year-olds to the polls. Oregon delivered the highest number with 36 percent, and Nebraska had the lowest turnout, with just 14 percent turnout.

Not surprisingly, voter turnout from the 30-and-over age group was substantially higher in all 50 states. Republicans and Democrats have always worked to get the youth vote out to the polls. Outside of a rising Hispanic population, the youth vote is seen as one of the most important voter blocks in the country. Eighteen-to-29-year-olds were key to Obama's first presidential election in 2008 and were relied on heavily in his re-election efforts in 2012.

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