Empowerment is the driving message leading young voters ages 17-29 to the polls this midterm season, with 59% confirming they are planning on voting, motivated by their perception as being “America’s Future,” according to the second and final phase of the Messaging Young Voters in the 2022 Midterms Report by the Ad Council Research Institute (ACRI) and Paramount Media Networks (PMN) & MTV Entertainment (MTVE) Studios.
With 21% of young voters ages 17-29 still undecided about whether or not they will vote this election season, the collaborative research project between ACRI and PMN & MTVE reveals voting behaviors, attitudes and perceptions among younger Millennials and voting-age Gen Z, with 55% of young voters reporting that they feel a civic duty to vote in this year’s midterm elections in order to support the issues that are important to them. The report also provides actionable and research-driven message frames and approaches for organizations to utilize in their strategies to successfully motivate voter turnout of these age groups.
Abortion and women’s rights are the top two issues of interest to young voters, with 51% and 50% respectively. Other top of mind issues for young voters include healthcare, the economy, mental health, gun rights and education.
“This report confirms crucial findings for us, proving that young voters are feeling empowered and motivated more than ever to get out and vote during this year’s midterm elections due to key issues such as abortion and women’s rights,” said Brianna Cayo Cotter, SVP of Social Impact for Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios.
“What is so special about this report, is that it not only unveils what kind of messaging will mobilize young voters, but also maps out how and where this key voting population is most likely to engage with it,” said Derrick Feldmann, lead researcher and managing director of ACRI and Ad Council Edge. “We’re hopeful that organizations working to motivate young voters take these findings and model their efforts to educate and strategically encourage voter engagement, meeting the needs of the young people they are inspiring to cast ballots.”
Although 80% of young people are planning to vote in the 2022 midterm elections, or they haven’t yet decided, there is an opportunity for issue-driven brands and causes to enact efforts now to encourage those who are undecided and reinvigorate planned voters to head to the polls in November. A large number of young people believe elections have too much corruption (62%) while less than half believe their vote makes a difference (47%) and trust in the election process security (45%), illustrating the impacts of negative election discourse on civic engagement. The specific recommendations in the report – focusing on messaging that’s educational and empowering, delivered by trusted messengers and accessible through often-used sources – will help brands and causes to reach and motivate this age group for the 2022 midterm elections and elections of the future.
The findings being released recently can be found HERE.