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Young voters and everybody else

Following a suggestion of Hober Short, I replotted the voting-by-age data with time on the x-axis. I also took this opportunity to go back to 1988 (the earliest for which I could effortlessly pull exit poll data off the web). Here’s what happened:


Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996 did well among young voters–like Barack Obama, he was a young Democrat facing older Republican opponents–but not so well as Obama in 2008.

As in many political settings, the largest gains in the graph come from incorporating additional data–in this case, the comparison of 2008 with earlier years, the comparison on young voters with those of other ages, and the comparison of the three other age groups with each other (with the lack of variation in this last comparison being a motivation to focus on trends among young voters in particular).

One Comment

  1. Jesse says:

    Ack! Bitter ambiguity! I can't tell which age group had a lower Republican vote share than the 18-29 group in 1988!

    Being a person in that youngest age group, I feel as though the youth vote had been largely ignored until this election. It's just a feeling, largely, without any hard data. Maybe it's the increased utilization of the Internet, the medium I grew up with, that makes me feel that way.

    It really excites me that Obama is doing weekly addresses using YouTube.