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Youth Voting Trends in Republican Presidential Primaries

January 26, 2012 Politics, Vote 1 Comment

With three different winners in three different primaries, it appears that the Republican presidential nominee is still anyone’s guess.  However, there is one interesting trend in the Republican primaries. Compared to 2008, overall voter turnout has remained low, but whom young voters are supporting says more about the voters than the party.

In Iowa, 18,000 people under the age of 30 participated in the caucus. They represented only 4 percent of their entire eligible electorate. Hardly an impressive showing, but almost half of those voters chose Ron Paul.

Ron Paul is the anti-war, libertarian candidate. In New Hampshire, young voters rallied and 29,000 people under 30 came out, 15 percent of all eligible young voters. Again Ron Paul received the majority with 46 percent of the youth vote. This week’s South Carolina’s primaries proved to be no different. With only 8% of young voter turnout, Ron Paul still managed to gain the majority of young voters with 31 percent of their votes.

Thus far, voter turnout for people under 30 in the Republican primaries has been low, but the majority of young voters support Ron Paul. In four years, Ron Paul has managed to double his support amongst young voters, and they have kept him in the race. His message of free markets, small government, legalized marijuana and isolated foreign policy make him the conservative establishment’s nightmare, and the champion of young Republican voters. Voters under 30 are still looking for someone to provide alternatives to the “business-as-usual” behavior of the established parties.  While Ron Paul may be the under-30 favorite, he remains behind in the polls.

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