Greenberg Quinlan Rosner / Democracy Corps
Democracy Corps


Reports: YFTW Growing the Youth Vote (PDF - 40 K)

Survey Results: YFTW (PDF - 5 K)

Crosstabs: YFTW (PDF - 72 K)


 Executive Summary

With this second report in the “Youth, For the Win!” series on young voters, we find that youths have been supporting Democrats by wide margins and are poised to do so again this November.

The survey, conducted by Democracy Corps/Greenberg Quinlan Rosner March 30-April 9, 2008, reveals that Democratic leads among young people are echoing 2006 results, when Democrats won the 18-29 bloc by a margin of 60-29 percent. Barack Obama generally holds the youth vote -- and while Hillary Clinton does not quite perform at the same level, it seems that Democrats will nonetheless carry the youth vote in November.

Questions do remain however about the Democratic margin among young people 18-29, as well as their level of participation. This second report looks specifically at two dynamics that could potentially undermine Democratic performance among young people in 2008. Last year, we reported on young people's alienation from the Republican party; while McCain is not exactly popular among young people, he does much better than the Republican "Bush" brand. Equally as important, the survey shows signs that the long Democratic nomination process has the potential to both sap some of young people’s enthusiasm and undercut the youth margin.


Key Findings

  • This year, Democrats are currently poised to deliver numbers comparable to 2004 or even 2006. A 56 percent majority of young people identify themselves as Democrats or as Independents who lean Democratic, a number that has been stable over the last year. Young people prefer the Democratic candidate by a 59 to 32 percent margin in a generic contest for President.
  • Barack Obama matches the generic candidate for Democratic support and does not suffer the defection we see in other polling among older, blue collar voters. Hillary Clinton does not perform at the same level, but both candidates would easily win the youth vote in 2008.
  • Compared to the Democratic candidates, John McCain does not enjoy great numbers here, but he does much better than Bush and the Republican part as a whole. Part of growing the youth vote means re-branding the Republican nominee as a Republican.