Poll: Youth Voter Registration, Engagement On The Decline

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File photo of a voter registration sign. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

File photo of a voter registration sign. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — A new poll suggests that younger voters, a key demographic focused on by President Barack Obama’s first election campaign, are significantly less engaged in politics this time around.

In addition, fewer potential young voters are even certain of their registration status.

Both observations could prove problematic for Obama’s re-election, as young registered voters reportedly preferred him to Romney by 59 to 33 percent.

The Pew Research Center collected data on the subject by asking a pool of voters under the age of 30 about their level of interest with the 2012 presidential election, then compared their findings with the numbers recorded in 2008, according to a release on their website.

What researchers found was that 63 percent of voters in that age demographic are definitely planning on voting this year. In 2008, 72 percent of people in the same age group were sure they planned to vote.

In addition, only 18 percent told researchers they follow campaign news closely. Four years ago, 35 percent of registered youth voters followed media coverage of the election in detail.

As far as registration is concerned, only half of adults under 30 are sure they are registered to vote – 61 percent knew their status in 2008, and 57 percent in 2004.

The survey was conducted in mid-September.

Pollsters at Pew also discovered another demographic traditionally beneficial for Democrats to be lagging in voter turn-out – Latinos.

According to another Pew-conducted survey, whose findings were announced Monday, Latino voters historically trail behind Caucasian and African-American voters, despite the fact that an estimated 24 million Latinos are eligible to vote this year.

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