Young People and Political Engagement
The Pew Research’s Center’s Paul Taylor answers questions about young people’s involvement in politics.
GOP Holds Early Turnout Edge, But Little Enthusiasm for Romney
Republicans are more engaged than Democrats in contrast to 2008 when it comes to focusing on this year’s presidential campaign and saying it really matters who wins. But Democrats are more enthusiastic about Barack Obama than Republicans are about Mitt Romney.
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Senior research staff answer questions from readers relating to all the areas covered by our seven projects, ranging from polling techniques and findings, to media, technology, religious, demographic and global attitudes trends.
The Latino Electorate in 2010: More Voters, More Non-Voters
More than 6.6 million Latinos voted in last year’s election — a record for a midterm. But Latino representation among the electorate remains below their representation in the general population. This gap is driven by two demographic factors: youth and non-citizenship.
Mixed Reactions to Republican Midterm Win, Policies
Compared with four years ago, there is less excitement and optimism about the victorious party and its plans following the GOP’s overwhelmingly successful Election Day. Also, while the public expresses more conservative views about the role of government than it did just two years ago, on major policy decisions that will arise in coming months, opinion is closely divided.
A Clear Rejection of the Status Quo, No Consensus about Future Policies
An older and much more conservative electorate than in 2006 and 2008 propelled the Republican Party to a broad victory in the 2010 midterm elections. But the vote was more repudiation than endorsement. Views of the Republican Party are no more positive than those of the Democratic Party.
The Party of Nonvoters
There will almost certainly be far more nonvoters than voters this year. Nonvoters are younger, less educated and more financially stressed than likely voters. They are also significantly less Republican and more likely to approve of Obama’s job performance.
Democrats Stirring but Fail to Match GOP Support, Engagement
As the 2010 midterm elections near, Republican engagement and enthusiasm continue at record levels, outpacing even improved Democratic showings on these indicators. The growing popularity of early voting — about a quarter of voters nationally say they plan to vote before Election Day — gives Democrats less time to make up ground and there is no indication that their voter mobilization efforts are outmatching Republican efforts.
Lagging Youth Enthusiasm Could Hurt Democrats in 2010
Millennials continue to be among the strongest backers of Democratic candidates this fall, though their support for the Democratic Party has slipped since 2008. But young voters have given far less thought to the coming elections than have older voters, and this gap is larger than in previous midterms.
Latinos and the 2010 Elections
In a year when support for Democratic candidates has eroded, the party’s standing among Latinos appears as strong as ever. However, Hispanic voters appear to be less motivated than others to go to the polls.