More Youth Vote

Comparing my post of yesterday to one of Jonah’s, another reader writes:

[You say:] “Preliminary indications are that the youth vote (ages 18-29) was way up”  That is at odds with Jonah’s post just below that, “Doesn’t look that historic either. In 2004 voting among 18-29 year-olds was 17% of the vote. From what I can tell it was 18% this year.”

If it really is up that would be the problem that you point to since the “youth vote” has always been sought but never attained.  But that is only if you are right instead of Jonah. 

ME:  I respectfully disagree.  Obviously, we need some more time to let the statistics develop more fully.  That’s why I said “preliminary,” and Jonah’s post, which came at an even earlier point than mine, is also couched in tentative terms, as these things must be until we get more definitive data. 

In any event, Jonah’s basic point, I think, is that the youth vote may not be up as a percentage of the general voting population.  First, I’m not yet sure that’s true (I heard estimates in the post-election cable-news coverage that contend it is up to 3 or 4 points higher — i.e., 21% – but in my too-brief research I couldn’t find any back-up so I don’t know how reliable they are).  Even if it is true, though, it seems undeniable that many more people voted in this cycle than in 2000 and even 2004.  Therefore, even if the percentage of youth vote remains constant, that necessarily means that millions more 18 to 29-year-olds voted this time, too. 

Regardless of its percentage of the general population, if that numerically increasing bloc is unusually influenced by the Left, that is going to have profound electoral implications in a country where the divide between red and blue is razor thin.

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