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. The share of voters younger than 30 who are following campaign news very closely is roughly half what it was at this point four years ago (18 percent, down from 35 percent). Just 63 percent of young registered voters say they definitely plan to vote this year, down from 72 percent four years ago.
Not only are young registered voters less engaged, but fewer young people are registered to vote. In all Pew Research Center polling conducted over the course of 2012, only half (50 percent) of adults under 30 say they are absolutely certain that they are registered. This compares with 61 percent in 2008 and 57 percent in 2004. Registration rates typically rise over the course of election years, but for youth voter registration to reach 2008 levels the figures will have to shift decidedly over the coming month.
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