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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Youth Vote Was Unprecedented -- and Decisive in 2020

Reader Ralph Taylor sent an email to me this week with the following statistics and information, which is worth sharing widely.  Thanks, Ralph!

Among Colorado voters ages 18-34, 70% of those registered voted. They made up 27% of the total vote in the state and broke two to one for the Joe Biden & Kamala Harris ticket. 

  • Think about that for a second. The youngest possible voters went overwhelmingly for the oldest candidate ever to run for President. What "generation gap"? 

According to the report, these voters are not driven by party affiliations or candidates; they vote by issues. Maybe, some of Biden's success came from moving toward the same issues as Bernie Sanders: income disparity, health care, racial justice, gender equity, college costs, etc. 

  • Of course, it helped Biden that Trump dismissed as a hoax and made so many obviously false promises about the pandemic that has so disrupted young people's lives. Perhaps, being out of work and out  of school kept bringing it home.  

Also, according to the report, the strongest indicator of future voting is past voting. It becomes a habit; we can expect high youth turnouts to come. . 

With this age group becoming an ever-larger fraction of the electorate -- and now VOTING -- this development has obvious implication for future politics. The party who captures youth issues will grow in power and a party who fights against them will lose power. 

It is, I think, a bad sign for Trumpism. His brand of racism and scapegoating seems doomed. And maybe for the Evangelical Right, with its emphasis on gender norms that youths abhor. 

Click here for an article from which covers this topic in greater detail.

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