CIRCLE (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement)
conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement

Rural Millennials, the 2016 Election and Civic Deserts

March 27th, 2017
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Today, our Director and Senior Researcher have a new analysis up at The Conversation about the 2016 election and access to civic resources.

Right after the election, our analysis of the Edison Research exit poll showed that youth in rural areas (less than 50,000 population) were more likely than youth nationally to support President Trump. In this new post, Kawashima-Ginsberg and Sullivan provide an answer to the question “did young rural voters seek an outsider candidate like Trump because they are more politically alienated and skeptical about government and the value of their own political involvement?”

This new analysis is based on our 2016 post-election Millennial poll. More about this poll and additional findings can be found here.

They find that “it’s not just about geography” as some of their key findings include:

  • Millennials in rural areas are more likely to be in an area that Kawashima-Ginsberg and Sullivan describe as a “Civic Desert”, a place with few civic opportunities,
  • As a result, it’s not surprising that Millennials living in these Civic Deserts are not as engaged as those not in Civic Deserts and have fewer opinions about political issues, and
  • White Millennials in both Civic Deserts and rural areas were more likely to support President Trump that Millennials elsewhere, but they also point out that Trump’s youth support did not come entirely from rural areas, as there were supporters in Civic Deserts who voted for him in suburban and urban areas as well.

Find the full analysis here, and stay tuned for more findings from our Millennial post-election poll.

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