After crunching early numbers, it turns out that predictions are correct about youth voter turnout. As we reported, liberals don’t appear to have a stranglehold on the youth vote as disenchanted Millennials have buyer’s remorse about the President and his policies. Furthermore, it was expected that conservative young people would turn out to vote in a greater margin than their more liberal peers and there are indications that was partially true.
This is just preliminary data but according to youth advocacy organization Generation Opportunity, which crunched exit polling results by CNN and The New York Times, overall, young voters were more likely to cast their ballots for Republican candidates this year than they were in 2010. In aggregate, 54 percent of 18-29 year olds voted Democratic compared to 43 percent voting Republican but our demographic is not homogenous. Young voters (18-24 year-olds) were more likely to vote Republican than their older siblings (25-29 year olds).
Looking closely at particular races, the trends emerge. In the Ohio governor’s race, for example, Republican John Kasich won the youth vote by a 56-41 margin, compared to a 10-point loss during his last election. In addition, young voters swung toward Kasich by 25 points compared to 2010.
In cases where the Democratic challenger won the youth vote, it was by a smaller margin than four years ago or in previous elections. For example, in the North Carolina Senate race, Kay Hagan won the youth vote 53 – 39 percent, but that’s an 18 percent drop from her previous election.
The President has lost his sheen among young people overall. While older Millennials are still somewhat loyal to him and his party, younger siblings who came of age during his presidency are disappointed with the results of his leadership such as the high unemployment plaguing our generation and the high costs of ObamaCare.
When all of the races are called and the final voting records come in, we’ll have a better analysis of the voting patterns among young people and other demographics. One thing is clear though, the President is no longer the inspirational leader of my generation.
(In full disclosure, I work for Generation Opportunity.)