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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 16 with such statements as ‘It does not matter much to me whether I vote or not,’ ‘public officials do not care much what people like me think,’ ‘people like me do not have any say about what the government does,’ and ‘politics and government seem so complicated that person like me can’t really understand what is going on’ were more likely than others to vote. This shows that young people’s attitudes toward politics may be the most critical factor in deciding whether they will vote or not. All of us who are concerned about the declining turnout among young voters may have to think about the solutions to this problem at a more fundamental level. It should be noted that the sample (N=368) used in this study was not randomly selected from the general population. As explained in the method section, this sample was dissected from the 1,842 respondents in the University of Michigan’s National Election Study using the ‘age’ variable. The University of Michigan randomly selected these 1,842 respondents from the general population. However, it would not be mistaken to say that the characteristics of this paper’s sample would have been very similar to one collected from the general population. To better understand young voters’ electoral behavior, future studies should pay attention to the differences between younger voters and older voters. For instance, examining the relationship between older voters’ media use and their voter turnout using the same predictors utilized in this study and comparing the finding with the results of this study will add to our understanding in this area. Future studies should also investigate young people’s media use more rigorously considering one of the findings of this study: young Americans who do pay attention to campaign-related news on television are more likely to vote. It matters because news media are undeniably important sources of information for young voters. It matters even more because casting

Authors: Kim, Eunsong.
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Young Voters and Media Use
16
with such statements as ‘It does not matter much to me whether I vote or not,’ ‘public
officials do not care much what people like me think,’ ‘people like me do not have any
say about what the government does,’ and ‘politics and government seem so
complicated that person like me can’t really understand what is going on’ were more
likely than others to vote. This shows that young people’s attitudes toward politics may
be the most critical factor in deciding whether they will vote or not. All of us who are
concerned about the declining turnout among young voters may have to think about the
solutions to this problem at a more fundamental level.
It should be noted that the sample (N=368) used in this study was not randomly
selected from the general population. As explained in the method section, this sample
was dissected from the 1,842 respondents in the University of Michigan’s National
Election Study using the ‘age’ variable. The University of Michigan randomly selected
these 1,842 respondents from the general population. However, it would not be
mistaken to say that the characteristics of this paper’s sample would have been very
similar to one collected from the general population.
To better understand young voters’ electoral behavior, future studies should pay
attention to the differences between younger voters and older voters. For instance,
examining the relationship between older voters’ media use and their voter turnout
using the same predictors utilized in this study and comparing the finding with the
results of this study will add to our understanding in this area. Future studies should also
investigate young people’s media use more rigorously considering one of the findings
of this study: young Americans who do pay attention to campaign-related news on
television are more likely to vote. It matters because news media are undeniably
important sources of information for young voters. It matters even more because casting


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