Marcello, K., Kennedy, C., Lopez, M., & Barr, K. 20. Young Voter Registration and Turnout Trend. Retrieved 22 October, 2012.
This article presents the findings of a research, done by Rock The Vote and The Centre for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement on voter registration and turnout trend of young voters (18-29 years) in the U.S. presidential and midterm elections. According to the survey, young people comprise a majority of first-time voters the number of who have been increasing over the years, signifying a more engaged youth population. For instance, in 2000 62% of first time voters were youths and this number increased to nearly two thirds in 2004. The survey found out that once youths voted for the first time, returning to vote in the subsequent elections became relatively easy, resulting in a life span voting habit. The growing large voter turnout among the youth was attributed to the development of the Internet technology and communications, increased voter registration campaigns which specifically targeted the youth. In addition, a general increase in young voter turnout was recorded among all groups ranging from the college students and the unemployed to working students. For example, there was a 14% increase in the number of working student voters between 2000 and 2004. A study on the demography of young voters found out that a majority of young voters in the 2004 and 2006 elections were whites, females, Christians, unmarried, and associated with the Democratic party.
Green, D. P., & Gerber, A. S. (2008). Get Out the Vote: How to Increase Voter Turnout (2nd Ed.). Yale University: Brookings Institution Press.
This book provides a practical guidance on smart decision making with regards to the resource allocation in partisan and nonpartisan voter mobilization at the grass root level. It stands out from other books because of its recommendations that are based on scientific findings and emanate from experiments carried out in real electoral settings. The authors of this book conducted an experiment to investigate the effectiveness and impact of various campaign tactics, such as direct mail, door-to-door campaign and phone calls among others. According to the findings, more personal tactics were found to be more effective as compared to impersonal ones. Face-to face campaigns were found to be the most effective tactic that increases the voter turnout by 7-12% amongst those who were contacted. On the other hand, impersonal tactics, such as robotic calls or emails, were found to have an insignificant impact on the voter turnout, despite the fact that the voters read emails or listened to campaign calls. The book also provides the literature on the issue of voter persuasion rather than voter mobilization.
Minnite, L. C. (2011). First-Time Voters in the 2008 Election. Washington DC: Project Vote.
This book presents the outcome of a survey, done by Project Vote on first-time voters in the 2008 U.S Presidential elections. According to the survey, first-time voters largely determined the 2008 Presidential election results, i.e. about 15 million out of over 131 million votes casted were from the first-time voters. The survey also revealed that almost 15% of votes casted to Barrack Obama were from the first-time voters, in comparison to John McCain’s 7.5%, an implication that first-time voters were allied to the Democratic Party.
There was an increase in the percentage of first-time voters from low-income and minority groups, i.e. there were a 2% and 6% increase in the number of black voters and Latinos respectively, who voted for the first time between the 2004 and 2008. Also it is important to note the significant improvement in the number of new voters along class lines. The percentage of low-income earners (those earning $15,000 or less annually) increased from 18% to 34% over the same period, besides the biggest increase in first-time voters being witnessed among those without high school diploma.
The Project Vote survey revealed that new voters in the 2008 polls were mainly youths, who are nonwhites, who were in strong support of the federal government’s role in regulating the U.S. economy. For instance, 86% and 79% of first-time voters wanted the federal government to increase its expenditure on education and infrastructure respectively, in an attempt to improve the declining U.S. economy. In addition, all three groups; black, younger and new voters, were in favor of the government increasing the minimum salary. The survey findings suggested that new voters were more mobile in comparison to other groups, recommending that they should be the target for voter mobilization and registration.
Gallup, A. M., & Newport, F. (2006). The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion 2004. New York City: Rowman & Littlefield.
This book provides a summary of a nationwide survey, conducted by the Gallup Organization prior to the 2004 U.S. Presidential elections to determine the public opinion concerning the polls. It also offers a broad analysis of the findings and breaks down the opinions, based on various factors, such as race, education level, gender, and sex among others to enable the reader to comprehend the main issues faster.
According to the survey, independent groups and political parties believed that new voters (new citizens, young American voters who have attained the required voting age, as well as those who preferred not to vote in the past elections) would turn up in considerable numbers to vote in the Presidential elections of 2004. The survey found out that several media campaigns had been conducted to register new voters such as the 20 Million Loud advertisement and the Vote or Die slogan. The number of registered voters who said that they would vote for the first time in the 2004 polls was 12%, while those who had voted previously constituted 85%. 11% of all adults in US admitted to being first-time voters, 16% said they were either unregistered or had no plans of voting, while 73% reported to have voted previously.
Additionally, the survey showed that most first-time voters were less than thirty years old. 51% of voters between the age of 18 and 29 years said they would vote for the first time in the 2004 Presidential polls, in comparison to 1% first-time voters who were above fifty years and 9% of registered voters of the age group between the age of 30 and 49 years. While the survey found no substantial differences among first-time voters based on religion and gender, there were, however, significant variations on the basis of race, income, education level and partisanship. For instance, first-time voters were more likely to be registered voters from low-income families, as compared to high-income families, as well as voters with relatively lower level of education. There were no significant difference in the first-time voters between Democrats and Republicans, however, registered independents were found to be mostly first-time voters.
Jones, J. M. (2008). No Increase in Proportion of First-Time Voters. Gallup Politics. Retrieved 22 October, 2012.
This article presents the interview findings, done on over 2700 registered voters in the United States by the Gallup Organization, to reveal the number of first-time registered voters, as well as those who have previously voted. According to the findings, the number of new voters significantly increased in the 2008 presidential elections. However, there was no significant change in the number of fresh voters between the 2008 and 2004 the U.S. Presidential elections, i.e. 13% of registered voters stated that they voted for the first time in the 2008 elections, a percentage that matches the Gallup findings prior to the 2004 polls. The youth comprised a majority of first-time voters. This is evidenced by the 62% of youths under the age of thirty years who said they would vote for the first time in the 2008 Presidential elections. First-time voters constituted 40% of Democrats, 23% Republicans and 37% Independents. In addition, 32% of first-time voters had conservative political views, 28% were liberals and 34% had moderate views. From the study, it was apparent that the number of first-time voters supporting democratic candidates had grown over the years.
Da-chi, L. (2011). 2012 ELECTIONS: Independents, First-Time Voters Could Tip Election. Taipei Times. Retrieved 22 October, 2012.
According to this article, first-time and independent voters between the age of twenty and twenty three were the main demographics in determining the outcome of the Chinese Presidential and legislative elections which occurred on January 14, 2012. This prediction concurs with the opinion of Hsieh Hsiang-Ching, an associate professor at Tamkang University, who said that younger voters between the age of 20 and 29 would play a significant role in deciding the next President of China. In addition, he said that out of the 3.5 million registered voters within the age group of 20 and 29 years, 1.3 million were likely to be the first-time voters between the age of 20 and 23. This article attributes the low turnout and registration of new and first-time voters in China in the previous years to lack of interest in political matters. According to Wang Yeh-li from the National Taiwan University, the first-time voters were a virgin region that could not be ignored by any political party, opposite to older voters who have longstanding political inclinations.
Fisher, P. (2010). The Age Gap in the 2008 Presidential Election. Society, 47(4), 295-300.
According to this article, a majority of people who voted for President Obama in the 2008 United States Presidential elections were first time voters and youths under the age of thirty years who constituted 69% and 66% respectively. This is in comparison to 30% of first time voters and 32% of youths who voted for Senator John McCain. Obama’s victory was mainly attributed to his appeal to younger Americans.
Jones, D. R. (2004). First-Time Voters Make Their Voices Heard. The New York Amsterdam News, 95 (46), 5.
This article suggests that there was an increase in the number of people who voted in the 2004 elections in New York. First time voters were made up of youths, particularly Latinos and African Americans who voted in relatively large numbers, compared to the previous elections. These people emanate from low-income families and cannot afford basic needs. Therefore, in order to sustain their voting momentum in the subsequent elections, campaigns ought to focus on solving their problems through the provision of affordable housing, job creation, enhancing the quality of education in public schools etc.
Aalberg, T., & Jenssen, A. T. (2007). Do Television Debates in Multiparty Systems affect Viewers? A Quasi- experimental Study with First-time Voters. Scandinavian Political Studies, 30 (1), 115-135.
Television debates are extremely common in many developed countries. However, a similar thing cannot be said regarding panel debates within multiparty systems. This article investigated the impact that winning or loosing a televised political debate has on the electorates’ attitudes. According to Aalberg and Jenssen, winning a television debate has a significant effect on the voting patterns of the first-time voters in elections.
Steinhauer, J. (2008). On Campus, First-Time Voters Count Days. New York Times. Retrieved 22 October, 2012.
A few weeks to the 2008 Presidential polls in the US, most students at Pennsylvania State University, who were predominantly first-time voters, were eager to cast their vote to President Obama. According to the article, Obama’s message of change captivated a majority of youths throughout the United States, thus enabled him to win their hearts.