• The Effect of Political Knowledge on Voting

      Gordon, William; Department of Political Science (2017-03)
      After the 2012 presidential election, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) conducted a nation-wide survey of young people, ages 18-24, to learn more about their voting behavior. After the 2016 election, a replicated, shortened version of CIRCLE’s survey was used to find if politically knowledgeable young voters, ages 18-24, are more likely to vote. The sampling frame was 3,869 undergraduate students at Augusta University, ages 18-24, who were United States citizens. The sample size came to 390 based on 95% confidence level, ±5%. The sample was stratified through two strata – veteran status and race. A political knowledge index (PKI) was constructed to measure exactly how politically knowledgeable respondents were. This index was applied to both the 2012 and 2016 surveys. The answers to questions about political knowledge were graded and added together to create the index. The correct answer to each question was awarded 1.00 point and an incorrect answer was awarded 2.00 points, making the best score 3.00 and the lowest score a 6.00. According to the combined 2012 and 2016 results, young voters, ages 18-24, that are more politically knowledgeable are more likely to vote.