Ring the alarm
Young voters are more progressive than ever, but record 2020 turnout and support for Democrats in 2024 is far from guaranteed
In the simplest terms, when the Democratic party nominee for president garners 60% of the youth vote, Democrats win. Otherwise, it’s ugly for them.
President Obama won 66% of 18–29-year-olds in 2008; in 2012, he earned 60%.
President Biden reached 60% in 2020;
But Vice President Gore (48%), Senator Kerry (55%), and Secretary Clinton (55%) each fell short.
Building from a foundation of:
Meaningfully increased levels of youth participation in midterm and presidential campaign cycles since 2018 (translation: Gen Zers and young millennials are out-voting geriatric millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers when they were young, and it’s not close);
Growing support for a progressive Democratic policy agenda (click here for details); and
Antipathy for the modern MAGA Republican party;
means there’s a tremendous opportunity for the national Democratic Party to build upon recent efforts and lock down the youth vote in 2024 and beyond.
In 2020, President Biden flipped five battleground states in large part due to the combination of record-level turnout and youth support. Voters aged 45 and older chose Trump in Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. President Biden won the under-30 cohort by roughly a 20-point margin and millennial voters in their 30s by high single digits.
In 2022, Democrats again lost voters over the age of 45; it was near record level turnout and double-digit margins among Zoomers and millennials across nearly every battleground state that propelled Democratic Senate and House candidates.
However, despite the high youth engagement levels in the Trump/Zoomer era and support for a progressive agenda -- we must not assume that 2024 will yield the same results.
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