US Midterms: Young Voter Turnout Second Highest in 30 Years

As Democrats celebrate their better-than-expected performance in Tuesday's midterm elections, increased focus has been put on the effect young voters had on the outcomes in several states.

US Midterms: Young Voter Turnout Second Highest in 30 Years
Image credit: AP Photo [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • As Democrats celebrate their better-than-expected performance in Tuesday's midterm elections, increased focus has been put on the effect young voters had on the outcomes in several states.
  • Researchers say the recent midterms had the second-highest turnout among voters under 30 in at least the past three decades, with around 27% of voters between the ages of 18-29 casting a ballot. The 2018 midterms saw the highest turnout among young voters, with about 31% voting.
  • Young voters overwhelmingly chose Democrats (63% voted for Democratic House candidates), possibly serving as the key constituency in several key battleground elections, such as Pennsylvania.
  • In Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, turnout for young voters was higher, reaching an aggregate of around 31%.
  • Ahead of the midterms, middle-aged voters identified the economy as a top concern for them, while abortion rights, climate change, and gun policies were among some of youth voters' top issues.
  • The midterms bring renewed focus to claims that young voters are a decisive force in the US's electoral politics and must be taken seriously, particularly as both Democrats and Republicans prepare for the 2024 presidential election.

Sources: Al Jazeera, NPR Online News, Fulcrum, FOX News, and Forbes.

Narratives

  • Democratic narrative, as provided by Independent. Young voters have made their voices heard by telling the political establishment that they won't stand for anti-democratic politicians, namely Republicans, who want to take away their rights and distract from real issues, such as climate change and access to abortion. The future of the Democratic party, and consequently for the country as a whole, is with young Americans who want to build a more fair and equitable nation.
  • Republican narrative, as provided by FOX News. America's youth has become increasingly politically illiterate: Schools and universities have been peddling woke ideology for years now, distracting many young voters from key priorities. The result is young people who want policies that "feel good" but are incapable of making the tough choices that come with governing a nation.