Midterm elections saw second-highest young voter turnout in 30 years, study finds

Election 2022 Florida
A voter walks before to cast a ballot during the midterm elections in Miami-Dade County at the Miami Beach Fire Department – Station 4 on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022 in Miami Beach, Fla. (David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP) David Santiago/AP

Midterm elections saw second-highest young voter turnout in 30 years, study finds

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Underlying Democrats’ blunting of a red wave appears to be a boom in young voter turnout‚ with the 2022 election marking the second-highest youth midterm outing in 30 years, according to a study.

Roughly 27% of young adults between 18 and 29 cast their votes in the midterm elections, and they broke for Democrats by about 27 points, according to a study from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University.

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“Young people proved once again that they’ll turn out to vote and impact election results, and their turnout in 2022 is one of the highest we’ve ever seen in a midterm election,” Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, Newhouse director of CIRCLE, explained in a statement.

Youngsters have been notorious for having lower turnout rates compared to more seasoned generations, with participation typically hovering around 20% since the 1990s. The showing on election night stands only behind the 2018 midterm election cycle that featured a blue wave and saw a nearly 31% turnout among young adults.

For comparison, 2014 saw a 21% turnout, and 2010 saw 20%, according to the researchers. Young voters have been a primary target for Democrats because they skew heavily toward the left compared to older generations.

About 63% of youth voters opted for a House Democrat, compared to 35% who went for a Republican, according to a National Election Pool survey conducted by Edison Research. That figure hews closely to the 2020 election and represents a slight downtick from the 67% skew toward Democrats in 2018.

President Joe Biden acknowledged the role of young voters in staving off an electoral embarrassment for Democrats, which historically tends to happen for the party in power during midterm elections. Republicans appear barely poised to reclaim the House, and the fate of the Senate remains less certain.

“I especially want to thank the young people of this nation, who — I’m told, I haven’t seen the numbers — voted in historic numbers again and just as they did two years ago,” Biden told reporters Wednesday. “They voted to continue addressing the climate crisis, gun violence, their personal rights and freedoms, and the student debt relief.”

By race and ethnicity, 89% of black youth, 68% of Latino youth, and 58% of white youth went for Democrats, per the research. The 2022 midterm elections featured 8.3 million newly eligible young voters, including roughly 3.8 million minorities.

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Preliminary data also suggest that youth turnout was even more pronounced in bellwether and battleground races, such as Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, eclipsing the 27% overall figure, according to the research. Notably, those data have not been fully finalized.

This election also featured the first Generation Z candidate, Florida Democrat Maxwell Alejandro Frost, elected to Congress, according to some definitions of a “zoomer.”

© 2022 Washington Examiner

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