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TO: Editorial Board Members FROM: CIRCLE The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and

d Engagement DATE: August 21, 2012 RE: CIRCLE The Preeminent Resource on Young Voters in This Years Elections Introduction Young voters could decide the outcome of this years elections. As a lead up to the elections, the preeminent youth research organization located at Tufts University the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has launched YouthTruth a campaign focused on dispelling myths about young voters and shattering stereotypes about this potentially decisive voting bloc. Founded in 2001 and long recognized as the leading academic center on youth political engagement, CIRCLE provides a seasoned team of experts on young voters with a long history of speaking on-therecord about youth voter issues. CIRCLE has been tapped by numerous national, top-tier print, radio, and TV news outlets, including MSNBC, NPR, CNN, Politico, Fox News, Washington Post, USA Today, NY Times, San Francisco Chronicle, the Christian Science Monitor, McClatchy, the Miami Herald, CBS News, ABC News, SF Chronicle, The American Independent, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the National Journal, and the Washington Times. CIRCLEs mission is to serve as a non-partisan, independent research center that studies young people in politics and presents detailed data on young voters nationally and in all 50 states. CIRCLE is independent of all political parties and candidates/campaigns, and has been hailed by experts in the field of civic partnership such as Harvard University professor Robert Putnam, who said CIRCLE has brought the best and most serious research to one place. About YouthTruth YouthTruth, located at, is an online hub of young voter-related information produced by CIRCLEs team of experts. It is a one-stop shop for information relating to the role young Americans are playing in this years political and electoral process. Among other things, the new online portal contains:

Quick facts on youth voting Infographics about the attitudes and engagement of young voters Blog posts providing analysis of the latest research Fact-checking of the information being disseminated publicly and conversations happening in the news media around young voters A library of other research and analysis on information relating to the civic engagement of Americas youth Utilizing youth voter-focused research and analysis, YouthTruth will disseminate election-related data from CIRCLE and will allow the public and media to bring misinformation to CIRCLEs attention by using the Twitter hashtag #YouthTruth. In turn, CIRCLEs leading team of experts will monitor media coverage of 18 to 29 year-old voters and disseminate accurate data with exclusive analysis. YouthTruth will continue to provide analysis before, during, and after this years elections on the role of young voters. About Young Voters There is a lot of speculation in the media about young voters, but CIRCLE has found that little of it is based in strong research and data. For example, RealClearPolitics quoted anecdotal sources who thought Paul Ryan would appeal to young voters as a vice presidential candidate because he is relatively young. But RealClearPolitics consulted CIRCLE for insightful, expert analysis and found that the research actually indicates most young voters are concerned with substantive issues not just appearances. I dont believe the fact that Ryan is relatively young himself has that much of an appeal, CIRCLEs Director, Peter Levine explained. Theres a tendency to think young people are just into superficiality, but I tend to find they vote based on their policy views. Research has shown that candidates do better when they take young voters seriously. In 2008, 66% of young voters voted for Barack Obama, vs. 32% for John McCain. Youth turnout in 2008 was likely influenced by the approach the presidential campaigns took to young people: the Obama campaign used online and offline strategies to reach out to young voters, while the McCain campaign did not seem to have a strategy. Yet CIRCLE points out that Not all youth vote Democratic, and historically the youth vote has often been competitive. The second-biggest youth-voter margin after Obama 2008 belonged to Reagan in 1984. (Republicans also won the youth vote in 1988.) And CIRCLEs polling shows that for the 2012 elections, the youth vote is more competitive than in 2008: 55% of young voters definitely or might vote for Obama vs. 42% for Mitt Romney.

Access to such current and historical data, and the ability to provide expert commentary and analysis on young voters, make CIRCLE the preeminent resource on young voters in the continually changing 2012 election season. CIRCLE staff bios are available here. To make an inquiry or schedule an interview with CIRCLE, please contact: *** Dan Fotou, 646.245.1706 ***