News Column

Social Media Report: Young Voters Changed

Nov. 29, 2012
Young Voters

Generation Opportunity, the nation's largest social media and grassroots organization connecting with 18-29 year olds, released data and analysis on young voters and the 2012 election. Generation Opportunity has built a fan base of over 4 million on Facebook and has been in front of hundreds of thousands of young adults through direct contact at the grassroots level, raising awareness of and fostering a discussion on critical economic issues including overall and young adult unemployment, debt, and federal spending.

There was a stunning 11-point swing away from President Obama

President Barack Obama won 18-29 year olds by 34 points in 2008 (66%-32%). This year, he won them by 23 points (60%-37%). The youth vote swung 11 points away from President Obama, more than twice any other age demographic.

Age -- 2008 -- 2012 -- Change

--- ---- ---- ------

18-29 -- 66-32 (D+34) -- 60-37 (D+23) -- -11

----- ----------- ----------- ---

30-44 -- 52-46 (D+6) -- 52-45 (D+7) -- +1

----- ---------- ---------- ---

45-64 -- 50-49 (D+1) -- 47-51 (R+4) -- -5

----- ---------- ---------- ---

65+ -- 45-53 (R+8) -- 44-56 (R+12) -- -4

--- ---------- ----------- ---

Source: National Exit Polling, Edison Research via NY Times

Young Voters Defy Conventional Wisdom

The conventional wisdom, which was advanced and shared by numerous news outlets and grassroots organizations, including the AP, Pew, and Huffington Post, was that young people would A) decrease in turnout compared to 2008 levels, and B) vote in just as strong of a margin for President Obama in 2012 as they did 2008. Yet, young adult turnout actually increased and swung 11 points away from President Obama.

Source: Brookings Institution

Generation Opportunity was heavily involved in reshaping both the terrain and the national dialogue with regard to the young adult vote going into the 2012 election. For 2013 and 2014, the organization will be further expanding its reach and following among young adults across the nation through social media and grassroots activity, executing an even more aggressive effort to fully engage young Americans at both the state and national level.

GENERATION OPPORTUNITY is a non-profit, non-partisan 501 (c)(4) organization in the United States engaging and mobilizing 18-29 year olds on important economic issues, such as high youth unemployment and the lack of meaningful, full-time jobs.



Source: Copyright PRNewswire-USNewswire 2012


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