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Good news for Republicans: the Grand Old Party has an edge among the young people most likely to vote this year.

Overall, Americans 18-29 are slightly more likely to favor Democrats, according to a new poll¬†from Harvard's Institute of Politics (IOP). But young Republicans are more fired up: By¬†12 points, they are more likely to say they will definitely vote than young Democrats‚ÄĒa gap that was just five points during the 2010 midterms.

More than half of likely young voters say they would prefer a Republican-controlled Congress.

Graphic from Harvard IOP poll

"A lot of it, frankly, comes down to turnout," John Della Volpe, director of polling at IOP, said during a call with reporters, "and it seems that young Republicans are significantly more likely to turn out and participate next week."

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He cautioned, though, against concluding that young people are becoming more conservative.

It's more probable that they are becoming disillusioned.

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Graphic from Harvard IOP poll

More young people will volunteer than vote, Della Volpe said, because they want to see tangible results. In the last few years, gridlock in Congress and political bickering haven't generated those results, so they are less likely to want to participate in what they view as a broken system.

Still, about a quarter of people under 30 say they are going to vote and that subsection is "more like the rest of America than we might have thought," Della Volpe said.

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That sounds unusual given the role young voters played in putting President Obama in the White House, but it's not out of character when you look back a bit farther, he added.

Before 9/11, Della Volpe said, young people were swing voters. Then, two wars, Hurricane Katrina, an unpopular Bush administration and a social media-savvy Obama administration followed, increasing support for Democrats.

These midterms indicate that young people are "returning to their roots," he said.

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While the results don't indicate much of a gender gap on issues, racial discrepancies do emerge.

Graphic from Harvard IOP poll

Support for Obama has dropped significantly among young white Americans, with just 31 percent approving of his job performance. But support remains high among African Americans, with 78 percent approving of the president's performance. Support is declining steadily among young Hispanics, which may have to do with a lack of movement on immigration reform, a key issue for Latino voters.

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Young Latinos appear to be particularly disillusioned and are only about half as likely as young whites and blacks to say that they will definitely vote, which could spell trouble for candidates looking to appeal to an increasingly Hispanic voting population.

Emily DeRuy is a Washington, D.C.-based associate editor, covering education, reproductive rights, and inequality. A San Francisco native, she enjoys Giants baseball and misses Philz terribly.