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Young People, Media Use, and Voter Turnout: An Analysis of the 2000 National Election Study
Unformatted Document Text:  Young Voters and Media Use 15 Discussion and Conclusion To answer the question, “Did young voters’ use of any particular media as sources of campaign information in 2000 significantly explain whether or not they voted on Election Day?,” this study analyzed several predictors developed in previous electoral behavior research. This study found that young Americans aged 18 to 35 who watch television news frequently turned out to be less likely than those who do not to cast a ballot. However, this study found that young voters who pay more attention to campaign-related news on television were more likely than others to vote on Election Day. Newspaper usage that was found to be a significant predictor in Simon’s (1996) study did not explain the variance in young voter turnout in this study. Rather, it was exposure to television news and attention to campaign-related news on television that were associated with young Americans’ voting. This finding may not be surprising in view of previous studies that demonstrated declining newspaper readership among young people and their increasing dependency on electronic media such as television (e.g. Brody, 1990; Fidler, 1997; Peiser, 2000). The fact that interpersonal communication was not a significant predictor of young people’s voting behavior is another interesting finding of this study. Whether or not young people discussed politics with family or friends was not related to their voting behavior. Some experts who claim that young people today do not participate in political processes because they are growing up without having chances to discuss politics (e.g. Gans, 2000) may not be correct. Rather, it should be noted that the strongest predictor that explained the variance in young people’s voter turnout was political efficacy. Young people who did not agree

Authors: Kim, Eunsong.
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Young Voters and Media Use
15
Discussion and Conclusion
To answer the question, “Did young voters’ use of any particular media as
sources of campaign information in 2000 significantly explain whether or not they
voted on Election Day?,” this study analyzed several predictors developed in previous
electoral behavior research. This study found that young Americans aged 18 to 35 who
watch television news frequently turned out to be less likely than those who do not to
cast a ballot. However, this study found that young voters who pay more attention to
campaign-related news on television were more likely than others to vote on Election
Day.
Newspaper usage that was found to be a significant predictor in Simon’s (1996)
study did not explain the variance in young voter turnout in this study. Rather, it was
exposure to television news and attention to campaign-related news on television that
were associated with young Americans’ voting. This finding may not be surprising in
view of previous studies that demonstrated declining newspaper readership among
young people and their increasing dependency on electronic media such as television
(e.g. Brody, 1990; Fidler, 1997; Peiser, 2000).
The fact that interpersonal communication was not a significant predictor of
young people’s voting behavior is another interesting finding of this study. Whether or
not young people discussed politics with family or friends was not related to their
voting behavior. Some experts who claim that young people today do not participate in
political processes because they are growing up without having chances to discuss
politics (e.g. Gans, 2000) may not be correct.
Rather, it should be noted that the strongest predictor that explained the variance
in young people’s voter turnout was political efficacy. Young people who did not agree


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