Publication / DecodeDC/ Scripps
October 9, 2014
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Election Day is less than a month away, but who cares?

Millennials the least interested in upcoming vote

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It’s fall. The leaves are turning. It’s time for pumpkin spiced lattes, apple picking and sweater weather. In the next few weeks there’s Halloween and Thanksgiving and then Christmas! But wait, isn’t there another day in there worth mentioning? Oh yeah, Election Day—Nov. 4—but who’s thinking about that?

Apparently not many.

Only 15 percent of Americans polled recently by the Pew Research Center said they are watching the 2014 midterm elections “very closely.”

In fact, according to the Pew poll, of the top five topics Americans said they were following last week, the 2014 midterms was fourth. The Ebola outbreak, U.S. airstrikes against ISIS and continuing Secret Service issues came before the elections. The protests in Hong Kong was number five.

When the data is organized by age group, interest in the mid-terms plummets. Millennials care the least about the upcoming elections—with only 5 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds polled saying they were following the topic last week.

The outcome isn’t particularly surprising—younger groupshistorically have been the least interested in  elections or engaged in voting. Midterm elections notoriously generate fewer turnouts than presidential election years.

But the Pew findings suggest that youth voter interest is also slowly declining year after year. Another Pew Research survey in September 2012 that polled the same age group found that 18 percent were following the news “very closely.” That a significant decrease from 2008 when 35 percent of the group polled said they were following the elections “very closely.”

But that doesn’t mean voter engagement groups are giving up. Rock the Vote, a group that focuses on enticing the 18+ population to vote on Election Day, came out with a music video PSA this week to remind voters that Election Day is soon approaching.

The millennial-focused advertisement is complete with multiple celebrity cameos all timed to rapper Lil Jon’s summer hit “Turn Down for What?” The wording got a bit of an election make-over in the video.

We thought you would enjoy it, no matter what age group you fall into — and regardless of whether you’re following the midterm campaigning:

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