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In Label Networks’ new Spring Youth Culture Study 2008″, we asked a series of questions about the upcoming election to get a sense of just how 13-25-year-olds are voting or would vote if they could, how they feel about their potential future President, who plans on voting (of those that are eligible), and who they “wish” was a Presidential candidate. The results are quite fascinating because in many ways, it provides insight about the future when it comes to politics, and which demographics within youth culture are more likely to get involved compared with others.

Taken from a representative sample of thousands of 13-25-year-olds across the United States from April 20- May 5,2008, of voting age demographic of 18-25-year-olds, 85.3% plan to vote in the upcoming election. 86.1% of females plan to vote compared with 83.1% of males. Of eligible age groups, 86.3% of 18-20-year-olds and 81% of 21-25-year-olds plan to vote. Overall, this represents a large portion of the voting population in the United States that plans to vote in the upcoming election, which is why it’s important to know what they’re thinking and why.

When it comes to Presidential candidates”, when asked “Who will you (or would you) vote for President?” overall among 13-25-year-olds, 61.4% say they will vote (or would vote if they were eligible) for Barack Obama. This drops to 19.4% for Hillary Clinton, then 19.3% for John McCain. By gender, 60.3% of females ages 13-25-year-olds plan to vote (or would vote if they were eligible) for Barack Obama, compared with 65% of males. For Hillary Clinton, 20.5% of females plan to vote (or would vote) for her compared with 15.2% of males. And a slightly higher percentages of males plan to vote (or would vote) for McCain.

Looking at the results by age groups”, it’s very telling in that many younger people don’t think so much about “Democrat” or “Republican” but more about the candidates and their meaning, and change is the big issue. For example, the younger the age group, the higher the percentages that would vote for Barack peaking among 13-14-year-olds at 64.6%; followed by 62.1% of 15-17-year-olds; 59.8% of 18-20-year-olds; and 58.8% of 21-25-year-olds. For Hillary Clinton, there’s a direct correlation that the older the demographic, the higher the percentages who would vote for her, peaking among 21-25-year-olds at 22.7%. Generally, young people are voting more Democratic than Republican and the younger the age group, the higher the percentages for Barrack. Hillary has the “older” youth culture vote for Democrats, whereas Barrack has greater percentages among younger demographics, including those not yet eligible to vote. What’s also interesting is that among 13-14 and 15-17-year-olds, while Barack clearly has the highest percentages, second is John McCain, followed by Hillary Clinton. There is a divide in youth culture demographics in that while most want change, there is a strong segment that believes John McCain could provide this. On the other hand, there is a strong segment that believes John McCain is simply too old, which is why they lean towards Barack Obama even if he isn’t exactly the candidate they would prefer.

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