Friday, November 11, 2022

More Commentary on Youth Vote in Recent Elections: "Republican Party's worst nightmare"

More commentary on the youth vote in this week's elections, and what it may signify for the future:

Teresa Hanafin, "Gen Z and their FAFO attitude, the brawling GOP, free food for vets, and Gretchen Whitmer, rock star":

Historically, about 20 percent of young people ages 18 to 29 vote in midterm elections. This year, it was 27 percent nationally and 31 percent in battleground states, including Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

They preferred Democratic candidates by a 28-point margin, 63 percent to 35 percent, according to exit polls conducted by Edison Research. And a greater percentage of them voted for Democrats than any other age group.

In Pennsylvania, they voted for Senate candidate John Fetterman by a 46-point margin. Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer won Gen Zers by 29 points.

Many were animated by the overturning of Roe and the threat to abortion access; 65 percent of them said the Dobbs decision motivated them to vote.

But they don't want just promises from their political leaders; they want action -- and feistiness. So they like it when politicians like Fetterman vow to abolish the Senate filibuster in order to codify abortion rights. Whitmer brought the issue of abortion rights to court.

US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supports eliminating the filibuster, too, but she's also popular among Gen Xers and Millennials because of her take-no-prisoners attitude. She's a master of the Twitter clapback.

So when former VP Mike Pence tweeted last month:

I've got news for President Biden. Come January 22nd, we will have Pro-Life majorities in the House and Senate and we'll be taking the cause of the right to Life to every state house in America!

Ocasio-Cortez fired back:

And I've got news for you: Absolutely no one wants to hear what your plan is for their uterus.

In an election where a majority of white women voted for Republicans, and Democrats received fewer votes from Latino men than in the 2018 midterms, I'm pinning my hopes on the FAFO generation.

Robert Reich, "To me, the most encouraging thing of all":

The aspect of the midterm elections that gives me most hope for the future is the growing ranks of the young — as well as people of color and women — among American voters and in American politics.

By 2028, Millennials & Gen Z’rs will dominate U.S. elections.

This is why the GOP is pulling out all the stops to entrench Republican power. They know they don't stand a chance against a multi-racial, progressive generation of young people that will make the GOP’s backwards ideas irrelevant.

They are the Republican Party’s worst nightmare.

The latest data prove the point. In this weeks’ midterm elections, 27 percent of young people (ages 18 to 29) turned out — the second-highest youth voter turnout in almost three decades.

These young people helped decide critical races.

In a group of nine electorally competitive states for which exit poll data is available (Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin), the aggregate youth voter turnout was 31%.

In Michigan, the early youth vote was up 207 percent from 2018. In Pennsylvania, up 318 percent. In Wisconsin, up 360 percent.

Young people were a critical force in holding back a “red wave.” They supported Democratic House candidates by 62 percent to 35 percent.

According to AP VoteCast, an in-depth survey of more than 94,000 voters nationwide, 61 percent of voters younger than 45 backed Democrat John Fetterman in his  Pennsylvania Senate race.

What accounts for these astounding numbers?

Start with Trump, who continues to be deeply and justifiably despised by most young people. He wasn’t on any ballot, but he made his presence as conspicuous as he always does. Trump insisted on campaigning loudly and belligerently. Most Republican candidates joined in his big lie that he won the 2020 election.

Next is the stark political reality that young people -- the first generation in America to be subject in school to active shooter drills – want action on gun violence.

They also want progress on the climate crisis, presumably because they’ll be living longer with its consequences than anyone else.

And they’re passionate about preserving reproductive rights.

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