College students across the United States more than doubled their rate of voting between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections, according to a study published Thursday by Tufts University — a dramatic spike in political engagement that could draw unprecedented attention to these voters in next year’s presidential election.
The study found that 40 percent of students who are eligible to vote cast ballots last year, up from 19 percent in 2014.
Census Bureau data has shown that turnout rose in nearly all demographic groups between the two midterm cycles, but it rose most sharply among young adults. The Tufts study shows the turnout spike was particularly stark among college students — an extraordinary level of engagement for voters who typically stay home in nonpresidential elections.
Among all eligible voters, for instance, turnout reached 50 percent in 2018 — less than a 14-point jump since 2014, according to the United States Elections Project.