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Interest in Midterm Voting Lags Behind 2010 Levels, Conservatives More Enthusiastic

Despite what seems like growing approval for the president, the Democrats and Republicans in Congress among 18- to 29- year olds, the percentage of young people who are likely to vote in the midterm elections is shrinking relative to the last time we asked the question five months ago, and also compared to four years ago at this time.  Currently, less than one-in-four (23%) young Americans under the age of 30 say that they will  “definitely be voting,”in the upcoming midterm elections for Congress, a sharp decrease of 11 percentage points since the Fall. During a similar time of the year in 2010, 31 percent of 18- to 29- year olds reported that they would definitely vote. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates summarized by CIRCLE1, 23 percent of 18- to 29- year olds voted in the 2010 elections, a decrease of 1.5 points from 2006 when 25.5 percent participated.
 

HOW LIKELY IS IT THAT YOU WILL VOTE IN THE MIDTERM ELECTIONS FOR CONGRESS?
 

 

Currently, there seems to be more enthusiasm for midterm voting among traditional Republican consistencies than Democratic ones. For example, 44 percent of those who voted for Mitt Romney in 2012 say they are “definitely voting,” which is a statistically significant difference compared to the 35 percent of 2012 Obama voters who say the same. Additionally, self-identified conservatives (32%) are 10 points more likely to vote than liberals (22%), men (28%) are 9 points more likely to vote than women (19%), and young Whites (28%) are more likely to vote than Blacks (19%) and Hispanics (19%).

Looking Ahead, Hillary Clinton’s Favorability Rating Stands at 52 Percent

Looking ahead to 2016, we asked young Americans two questions each about Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie. Hillary Clinton holds a favorable rating of 52 percent (15% very favorable, 37% somewhat favorable) and an unfavorable rating of 42 percent (19% very unfavorable, 23% somewhat unfavorable). There is a 10-point gender gap, as her favorability rating among 18- to 29- year old women is 57 percent (38% unfavorable) and 47 percent among men (47% unfavorable). Her strongest constituencies include:

  • Older Millennials 25- to 29- years old (57% favorable, 39% unfavorable) compared to 18- to 24- year olds (49% favorable, 44% unfavorable);
  • Blacks (77% favorable, 18% unfavorable) and Hispanics (61% favorable, 30% unfavorable) compared to Whites (43% favorable, 53% unfavorable); and
  • Liberals (78% favorable, 18% unfavorable) and moderates (52% favorable, 42% unfavorable) compared to conservatives (26% favorable, 70% unfavorable).

Among Democrats, former Secretary Clinton’s favorable rating is 80 percent (50% being somewhat favorable), among Independents it is 47 percent and it’s 20 percent among Republicans.

Over the last year, more than two-thirds (67%) of those who are familiar with former Secretary Clinton say that their opinion of her has stayed the same, approximately equal numbers say it has gotten better (17%) as has gotten worse (16%).

Alternatively, when this same question was asked of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, more than five times as many said their opinion had gotten worse than said better. Forty-three (43%) percent of those familiar with him say their opinion of the governor has gotten worse over the last year, less than one-in-ten (8%) responded that it got better. A plurality (49%) reported that it stayed about the same.

Overall, 62 percent of 18- to 29- year olds indicated that they had heard of Governor Christie. His favorable rating is 21 percent (3% very favorable, 18% somewhat favorable) and his unfavorable rating is nearly twice as high, 39 percent (13% very favorable, 26% somewhat favorable).
 

OVER THE LAST YEAR, WOULD YOU SAY YOUR OPINION OF HILLARY CLINTON/ CHRIS CHRISTIE HAS GOTTEN BETTER, GOTTEN WORSE, OR STAYED ABOUT THE SAME?

 

 

 
 

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