Yet another study confirming that November 6, 2018 may see a substantial uptick in younger voters, eager to find an outlet to express their displeasure at having their lives threatened by Donald Trump and his Russian-bought NRA tools in the Republican Congress.
Kara Voght (yes, that is her name!) reports from Mother Jones:
The March for Our Lives teens said they’d #VoteThemOut, and a new study suggests they could be poised to do just that. According to the political data firm TargetSmart, the percentage of newly registered voters who are under the age of 30 has grown significantly in a number of key battleground states since the February school shooting in Parkland, Florida. The surge could have big implications in this fall’s fight for control of Congress.
On average across the country the share of younger voter registrations only rose by 2 percentage points, but the numbers soared in several classic “battleground states” such as Arizona, Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida and Nevada:
[I]n Indiana, Virginia, and New York—home to some of this year’s marquee House and Senate contests—the share of youth registrants increased by 9.87, 10.49, and 10.7 percentage points, respectively. In Pennsylvania—where voters will decide as many as nine competitive congressional races—the share of new registrants who are younger than 30 jumped by a whopping 16.14 percentage points.
The study tallied new registrations in 39 states where such data was available. Interestingly, the only states where youth registration was down were solid Republican or Republican-leaning states.
As Voght points out, Pennsylvania alone is hosting nine highly competitive House races, so assuming these young people get out and vote, they have the potential all by themselves to flip control of Congress. Data wasn’t available for New Jersey but all of the surrounding states showed jumps well above the national average.
The study’s authors didn’t try to determine the rationale for the this upsurge, nor did they break down the registrations by party affiliation, but they used February 14, 2018, the date of the Parkland shooting, as their reference point, since nationwide efforts to register youth voters began soon afterwards. The study highlights a Harvard University poll which found nearly two thirds in this age demographic favor measures to contain the spread of automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
And it may also be that the upsurge reflects, in part, efforts by Democratic parents to push their kids to register for reasons having to do with Donald Trump. Any parent worthy of being called a parent is making damn sure that his or her children get out and vote this year, for reasons that transcend the issue of firearms.
But either way, we’ll take it.