Study: Young Voters Swayed by TV Debates

Tuesday, 16 Oct 2012 08:07 PM

By Stephen Feller

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Despite the conventional thinking, televised debates may be the most important thing presidential debates do to attract the voters they want the most: Young ones.

A poll by YouGov showed that nearly a third of 20- to 29-year-olds said the debates are the campaign event most likely to sway their vote between candidates, Mediaite reported Tuesday.

“It’s significant that so many young people are committed to voting and paying attention to tonight’s debate,” said David Jones, founder of the One Young World summit. “[It is] a message to both candidates that they are a key audience with the power to influence the outcome of the election.”

In its survey of about 2,000 people, YouGov found that 32 percent said the debates swayed them the most. After the candidates rhetorical battles came friends and family at 23 percent; news reports at 19 percent; social media at 8 percent; and campaign ads at 5 percent.

The poll also found that more than two-thirds of young people plan to vote, but that nearly half did not watch either party’s convention.

YouGov conducted the poll ahead of Jones’ One Young World summit, an annual event that draws 1,500 young leaders from around the world to Pittsburgh, PA, to help them find ways to “create positive change.”

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