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Understanding the Minority Millenial Vote Ahead of 2014 Midterms

 / Updated 

America's Millenials are the country's most racially and ethnically diverse generation of all time. In an effort to better understand how young Americans from different backgrounds politically engage ahead of the midterm elections, CIRCLE -- The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement -- today released a set of fact sheets on the 18-29 Asian-American, African-American and Latino voting populations.

Drawing from 2008, 2010, and 2012 election data, the data reveals that Latino and Asian-American youth are among the most "civically alienated" of all groups (39% and 32%, respectively, compared to 23% African American and 19% White.)

That sentiment is reflected in low voter registration among Asian Americans -- 47.2% in 2012 (as compared to 62.4% Black and 60% White), as well as dwindling voter turnout -- from 43% in 2008 to 36.9% in 2012. When asked why they didn't vote, 22.9% of all registered young people said, "they were too busy or had conflicting work schedules," -- a response more likely among Black and Asian-American youth. Among young Latinos, being busy was the most cited reason, followed by a feeling that their votes "did not make a difference."

Between 2008 and 2012, however, registration rates among Latinos bucked the trend of decline, increasing from 46.6% to 48.9%. Crucial to getting the young Latino vote, the data shows, is an understanding of the political nuances between genders. Young Latinas, for example, were more likely than their male peers to identify as liberal in 2012.

Though mobilizing young Asian-Americans through formal political channels has proven to be a challenge, recent studies found this group more likely to donate to charitable causes, and the most likely to engage in online "interest-driven activity," offering an insight into how their votes could be courted.

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