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Empowered by their role as “America’s Future,” 59% of young voters plan to vote in the midterm elections to protect their rights – while 21% are unsure whether or not they will vote

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The new national study from Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios and the Ad Council Research Institute provides organizations with tools to motivate voter turnout Abortion rights is the top issue among young people, followed by women’s rights, healthcare and the economy

New York (October 4, 2022) – 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 today can be found HERE.

About the Ad Council and ACRI
The Ad Council is where creativity and causes converge. The non-profit organization brings together the most creative minds in advertising, media, technology and marketing to address many of the nation's most important causes. The Ad Council has created many of the most iconic campaigns in advertising history. Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk. Smokey Bear. Love Has No Labels.

The Ad Council's innovative social good campaigns raise awareness, inspire action and save lives. To learn more, visit AdCouncil.org, follow the Ad Council's communities on Facebook and Twitter, and view the creative on YouTube.

The Ad Council Research Institute (ACRI) leverages the Ad Council’s insight-driven approach to examine some of the most important social issues of our time. Building upon years of research expertise, ACRI works with brand, corporate and nonprofit partners and clients in four ways— We conduct research to gain a deeper understanding of the public’s perceptions, attitudes and willingness to act on social issues. We develop and test messaging and narratives for social good campaigns. We help build knowledge on the role influencers or trusted messengers can play to move the public to act and we identify key performance indicators for communications initiatives, and the tools through which to measure, assess and optimize them over time. Learn more about ACRI and our 2022 research agenda here.

Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios Boilerplate
Paramount Media Networks & MTV Entertainment Studios is one of the preeminent media entities in the world that connects with global audiences through its nine iconic brands – MTV, Comedy Central, VH1, CMT, Pop, Logo, The Smithsonian Channel, Paramount Network and TV Land – and its Studios arm which produces acclaimed series and movies as well as award-winning documentaries through MTV Documentary Films.

Ad Council Media Contacts

Ben Dorf: bdorf@adcouncil.org

Lauren Nowell: lauren.nowell@paramount.com
Jo Flattery: jo.flattery@paramount.com