A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 26% of voters want to raise the voting age nationally to 21. The survey also found 10% in favor of lowering the age to 16. However, nearly two-thirds of voters (64%) are content to leave things as they are with the voting age at 18.
The voting age was lowered from 21 to 18 by a Constitutional Amendment in 1971. That was largely inspired by the Vietnam War and the fact that young men could be drafted at 18. Many perceived it as unfair that the government considered those men old enough to go to war but not old enough to vote.
Data released earlier found that a majority of voters favor repealing the 16th Amendment to end the federal income tax. However, just 31% favor eliminating the age requirement to run for president. Forty-percent (40%) support eliminating that rule that only natural born citizens are eligible to run for president.
Perhaps surprisingly, voters under 35 are more likely to favor raising the voting age to 21 than any other age group. Thirty-two percent (32%) of the youngest voters like this idea, a view shared by 21% of senior citizens.
However, younger voters are also the most likely to favor lowering the voting age to 21. Among those young voters, 21% support the idea. Just 2% of senior citizens agree.
Regardless of the formal voting age, younger voters actually register and turn out to vote and far lower levels than their elders.
Without the enormous political force of an issue like the Vietnam War, it is extraordinarily difficult to pass a Constitutional Amendment even for popular reforms like term limits.
All data presented by ScottRasmussen.com is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us). Receive the latest insights each day by signing up for Scott Rasmussen’s Morning Update.
The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted December 13-14, 2018 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).