Political News

Young adults say they'll actually vote in this midterm election

Posted May 30, 2018 10:41 a.m. EDT

— A majority of adults who will be old enough to vote in 2018 say they are planning to, according to a poll released Wednesday conducted by AP-NORC and MTV. When asked to rate their likelihood on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being "certain to vote"), 56% rated their likelihood at a 6 or above. Thirty-two percent said they were absolutely "certain to vote."

The study, taken among people ages 15-34 (with questions about voting asked only among those who would be able to), found the group highly motivated by the political environment. Forty percent said they felt extremely or very angry about the state of the country and 36% said they felt anxious. Only 13% said they felt positive, with 9% saying they were excited about the state of the country.

When asked, "how much can people like you affect what the government does," a majority (62%) said "a little" or "not at all." Only 13% said people like them can affect the government "a great deal" or "a lot" and 24% responded with "a moderate amount."

As for how they're staying engaged with news about the midterm elections, the poll of 15-34-year-olds suggested are more likely to read or watch the news about the midterms rather than commenting or posting on on the midterms on social media. Fewer still (14%) said they would be participating in political events and 10% said they would volunteer for a campaign or issue.

The issue most ages 15-34 say they are concerned about is gun laws, followed by the economy (including jobs, debt, poverty, and cost of living). Twenty-one percent cited gun laws (including school shootings) when asked the open-ended question "[o]f all of the issues facing the country right now, what concerns you the most?"

This group of upcoming or current adults is less Republican than the country as a whole. A plurality in the poll (34%) consider themselves Democrats, while 26% say they are independents and 19% say they are Republicans. Twenty-two percent say that they "don't know." The population at large has more Republicans -- (27%) in the most recent AP-NORC poll compared to 34% Democrats and 22% independents.