SOURCE: fluent


November 11, 2014 09:00 ET

Mid-Term Elections and College Millennials: Fluent Mid-Term Election Survey Shows Students Don't Vote for One Key Reason (and It's NOT Because They Don't Care)

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Nov 11, 2014) - Given how tight many of the political races were during the recent mid-term elections, some candidates could have used a little help from the approximately 20M college students in the U.S. However, according to a recent survey of more than 1,200 18- to 26-year-old students nationwide by college marketing and insights agency Fluent, more than half (53%) of students surveyed failed to vote in the latest mid-term elections, despite the majority (66%) declaring a definitive party affiliation.

Why? The reason cited most often for not voting is they simply "don't have the time." Of the two major parties, the opportunity for picking up votes among college students appeared to be greatest for the Democrats, since nearly twice as many students described themselves as a Democrat than as a Republican.

"College students today are almost hyper-informed about the issues being debated and decided on by our politicians, including everything from creating jobs to addressing environmental issues to healthcare and national security," said Michael Carey, EVP at Fluent. "Yet when it comes to the actual act of voting, there is a disconnect, and it tends to fall off their radar as they go about the business of school and work. Very often, it's the mechanics of registering or absentee voting that trips them up. It's not a widespread engagement problem, rather it's a process problem."

Roadblocks to Voting
The good news for political candidates is that, for the most part, it's not them or their messages that are turning student voters off. Instead, it's the time and effort that goes into registering and voting that keeps many of them from the polls. The major reasons cited for not voting are:

  • 35% said "No time"
  • 22% said "Not registered"
  • 17% said "Doesn't interest me"
  • 14% said "Forgot"
  • 12% said "Uninspired by the candidates"

Which Races They Cared About Most
For the 47% of students who said they did vote in the recent mid-term elections, the Gubernatorial and Senate races mattered the most:

  • 60% said "Senate"
  • 45% said "House"
  • 63% said "Governor"
  • 35% said "Local town officials"
  • 36% said "Special election questions"

About Fluent: Specializing in "translating brands for the college world," Fluent works with clients who want to understand and engage College Millennial Consumers (CMCs) nationwide, both on- and off-campus. With a network encompassing more than 1,000 colleges and universities, Fluent's capabilities include campus activities and programs, College Millennial Consumer insights, digital and social media strategy and activations, and experiential programs. Clients have included major brands such as Keurig, Kellogg's, Microsoft, Macy's, Jack in the Box, Skype, Zipcar, Kotex, Dove and L'Oreal. For more information, visit:

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