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Record low share of young people plan to vote Republican this November

Think millennials are insufficiently enthused about Hillary Clinton? Wait’ll you see how much they despise Donald Trump.

While young people do tend to lean Democratic, historically their presidential votes have been divided much more evenly between the two major parties than is the case today. Recent polling suggests that Trump is likely to get the lowest share of the youth vote that a Republican candidate has ever received since 18-year-olds first got the right to vote in federal elections nationwide.

Here’s a chart showing historical vote shares received by the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates. The historical data were provided by CIRCLE at Tufts University, based on its analysis of national exit polling of 18-to-29-year-olds going back to 1972. The numbers used for 2016 refer to a CIRCLE survey conducted between Sept. 21 and Oct. 3 and are based on a sample of 648 likely voters ages 18 to 29.


Source: Data analyzed and provided by CIRCLE. Data represents CIRCLE analysis of National Election Pool national exit polls, 1972-2012. Numbers with an asterisk refer to findings from a CIRCLE poll of likely voters ages 18 to 29 conducted between Sept. 21 and Oct. 3.

CIRCLE’s survey has Trump receiving only 28 percent of the youth vote, which would be the lowest on record.

Note that more recent polls have Trump’s youth voter share even lower (and Clinton’s share higher), though the sample sizes are smaller. An Oct. 13 Reuters poll, for example, has Clinton beating Trump 61 to 22 percent; an Oct 7-8 Economist/YouGov poll clocks in at 58 to 15 percent.

So much for that 2012 election “autopsy” report, which urged the GOP to stop alienating young voters if it wanted to survive.

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