One of the big stories in the presidential primary season thus far has been the youth turnout. Young people turned out in higher than expected numbers in both Iowa and New Hampshire, overwhelmingly voting with the Democrats. And even in yesterday’s Michigan primary, where the GOP had a real race while Democrats refused to participate due to party rules, youth turnout was strong:
100,776 young voters aged 18 – 29 participated in yesterday’s Democratic Primary (choosing “uncontested” over Hillary Clinton, 48% – 43%). They were 17% of the Democratic electorate. Comparatively, 112,833 18 – 29 year olds voted in the Republican Primary, and they were just 13% of the Republican electorate.
That Democrats still managed to split the youth vote despite having no race in their primary is good news, and if this trend continues it bodes well for Democrats up and down the ticket next November. And this apparent demographic shift could pay off huge dividends for years to come. Young people now self-identify as Democrats in growing numbers, and as they age and participate more regularly in electoral politics, this new generation of voters could form the base of a new progressive majority.