Youth vote could swing key Michigan races, says research center on youth engagement

Medford/Somerville, MA – Will young voters help shape the next Congressional delegation from Michigan? A new index ranks four districts in Michigan among the top Congressional races in the country where young people could have a significant influence on the outcome this year. The Youth Electoral Significance Index Top 50 was developed exclusively by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) – the preeminent, non-partisan research center on youth engagement at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life. 

Taking into account the competitiveness of the Congressional races, as well as demographic characteristics, the number of higher education institutions in the district, and historical youth turnout data, the index highlights districts in Michigan where young people are poised to have a disproportionately high impact this year.

“Young people can shape our elections and the make-up of our Congress, but their potential is limited when campaigns don’t reach out to them,” said Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Director of CIRCLE. “We hope this tool encourages campaigns, media outlets, and advocates in Michigan – and in many other states – to engage young people on issues that matter to them.”

Key findings include:

—Michigan has four districts on this list, including two districts in the top 15.

—Michigan’s 7th district, which includes parts of Lansing and the western suburbs of Ann Arbor, is the top ranked district in the state (and ranked 7th nationally). This district, inhabited by a predominantly White, working class population, is expected to be highly contested this November. Nearly 10,000 youth in this district attend college, which provides potential for electoral engagement of young people.

Other Michigan districts in the Top 50 are the 1st Congressional district, which includes 12 higher education institututions and nearly 20,000 enrolled students, the 8th and the 11th.

View the Top 50 index at http://civicyouth.org/top-50-districts-where-young-people-may-impact-the-2016-congressional-elections/. Throughout this election season, CIRCLE’s 2016 Election Center will offer new data products and detailed youth voting analyses.

CIRCLE (www.civicyouth.org) is a nonpartisan, independent, academic research center that studies young people in politics and presents detailed data on young voters in all 50 states. CIRCLE is part of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life.