Young voters are significantly less engaged in this year’s election than at a comparable point in 2008 and now lag far behind older voters in interest in the campaign and intention to vote.
Scott Keeter, director of survey research, explains why pollsters switch from registered voters to likely voters in their samples as Election Day nears, and how the Pew Research Center determines who is likely to vote.
The Pew Research's Center's Paul Taylor answers questions about young people's involvement in politics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.