Voting Patterns of Young People by Race and Ethnicity, 1988 to 2004

  • May 17, 2005

Preliminary estimates suggest that voter turnout among young people has surged to its highest level in a decade. While participation among young people rose, there appear to have been larger surges for some groups. This fact sheet presents patterns of voter participation by race and ethnicity based on estimates from national and state exit polls.

The voter turnout statistics presented here are rough estimates and should be interpreted with caution. There exists no official record of voters that tracks race, ethnicity and age. This is why we must rely on estimates derived from polls and surveys. The estimates presented here are based on national and state exit polls conducted during the November 2, 2004 election. It is unlikely that these numbers will match precisely the results obtained from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS), the other major source for voting statistics. Finally, while this fact sheet is useful for what it tells about voting levels for various groups, it cannot explain why the upsurge in voter participation rates occurred.