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Young People Watch More Late Night Television

For years political consultants have argued that late-night comedy shows play a central role in defining presidents and presidential candidates for the American public, but the biggest audience for those programs comes from those least likely to vote – Americans 18 to 29, the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey shows.

Interviews with 26,491 adults from October 30, 2003 through March 19, 2004, showed that people 18 to 29 were less likely to watch network news, cable news or read newspapers than their elders, but more likely to watch late-night comedy. They watched late-night programs an average of 1.2 days a week, compared to 0.7 for those 30-44, and 0.8 for those 45 to 64 or those 65 and older.