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Poll: Four in 10 young voters say they will 'definitely vote'

Poll: Four in 10 young voters say they will 'definitely vote'
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Forty percent of young Americans said they will "definitely vote" in this year's midterm elections, which if true would be more than the number who voted in the last two midterms, according to a poll released Monday.

It would also be good news for Democrats, since voters aged 18-29 years old tend to skew Democrat.

A Harvard Institute of Politics survey found that 40 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds indicated they will vote in the midterms, a 3 percent bump since the institute asked the same question in the spring.

Voter interest has crept up in the months since among both parties. Among Democrats, 54 percent said they are highly likely to vote, up 3 percentage points since April.

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Forty-three percent of Republicans said they are highly likely to vote, according to Monday's poll, a 7-point increase compared to the April survey.

Interest among independent voters has remained unchanged since April, the poll found.

The poll found that young voters prefer Democrats by a wide margin. Among likely voters, 66 percent of respondents said they would rather Democrats control Congress, compared to 32 percent who said they'd prefer a Republican majority.

It remains to be seen if voter interest among young Americans will translate to voter turnout. The Harvard poll noted that midterm turnout among young Americans has surpassed 20 percent just twice since 1986.

Those were in 1986 and 1994. The number of young voters who said they will "definitely" vote this year is up from 27 percent who said the same before the 2010 elections, and 34 percent who said so prior to the 2014 elections.

The poll surveyed 2,003 Americans age 18-29 from Oct. 3-17. The poll has a margin of error of 3.18 percentage points.

Early voting is already underway in many states ahead of the Nov. 6 election, where Republicans are hoping to stave off Democratic efforts to retake control of the House and Senate.

Democrats need to gain 23 seats in the House to reclaim the majority, and must pick up two seats in the Senate to do the same in the upper chamber.

Updated Oct. 30 at 10:05 a.m.