Youth vote way up in Ohio, Texas
Nearly 84 percent more Ohioans under the age of 30 turned out for Tuesday's primary election than did so during the 2000 primary election, according to a non-partisan analysis of exit polls.
The analysis by the non-profit Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the University of Maryland also found that the turnout of Texans under 30 more than trebled since 2000.
Statewide, Ohio's primary turnout of all voters was about 45 percent, up 12 percent from the March 2004 primary election and 10 percent from March 2000.
“In an unpredictable primary season, the one constant has remained the rising youth vote,” said Sujatha Jahagirdar, director of Student Public Interest Research Group's New Voters Project, the nation's largest youth voter mobilization program.
Exit polls also found voters under 30 typically favored Sen. Barack Obama over Sen. Hillary Clinton.
A total of 259,960 Ohioans under 30 voted in the 2000 primary, according to CIRCLE. An estimated 479,418 Ohioans under 30 voted in Ohio on Tuesday, the analysis found.
Among young Ohio Democrats, 16 percent turned out for Tuesday's primary election compared to 10 percent of those Democrats under 30 in 2004. Whole numbers of under-30 voters for the Democratic primary were not immediately available, Jahagirdar said.
In Texas, 172,228 voters under 30 turned out in 2000 compared to an estimated 620,384 yesterday. 2004 figures were not available for Texas.
Jahagirdar said Student PIRG paired "old fashioned pavement-pounding with technology to link up with the increasingly wired world of the young voter. . . From ‘bring your own phone’ phone banks to classroom ‘text out the vote’ announcements to tables set up on campus quads, student leaders recruited and trained by the project have engaged young voters in more than 20 states this primary season."