Young Voters Turned Out in Historic Election
Article by Nathan Thomas
CREDIT: The New York Times
The 2022 midterm elections were an incredible disappointment to Republicans, who predicted a “red tsunami” following a tough year with a divisive and chaotic political climate.
In the week before the election, Republican commentators across media outlets predicted a “historic red wave.” Jim Manley, a top Democratic strategist, even made a statement to the Hill saying “It’s pretty clear that Republicans have the wind at their backs.”
So why, given all the hype for a conservative win, did they fail so badly?
The answer lies, primarily, with the impact that young voters had on this election.
The Democratic party has put a noteworthy amount of time, energy and money into working with young people to get out the vote. TikTok influencers like Olivia Ponton and Victoria Hammett (7.9 million and 802,000 followers respectively) have garnered tens of millions of likes, spreading the word about civic duty and the importance of voting.
According to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, 27% of people aged 18-29 cast a vote in the 2022 midterms. What may sound like a small number is the second-highest turnout in three decades.
In Pennsylvania, where 70% of young voters voted for Democrats, young people contributed 120,000 votes to Sen. John Fetterman’s 185,000 vote win.
In Wisconsin, young voters cast a net of 79,000 votes for Democratic candidate Tony Evers, who won by 89,000 votes.
In key races, young people are turning out for their candidates, and the impact is being felt nationwide. Young people have turned this “red tsunami” into merely a trickle, even as Joe Biden’s approval rating hovers around 39%.
Following the election, conservative media outlets had what can only be described as a meltdown. Jesse Watters, a Fox News commentator, blamed “the Biden crime family” and “Crooked Bill (Clinton)” for Republican losses in key states. He then went on to lament the fact that “single women are voting for Democrats by 30 (37) points,” suggesting they should get married.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, a notorious Christian Nationalist and U.S. Representative, appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room to say that blaming Trump for this loss is “lazy, pathetic, wimpy, (and) easy.” She argued that since Jan. 6, Trump has been politically persecuted and has done good work in fighting the fight, endorsing over 200 candidates.
As a generation, we should be encouraged by the results of this midterm. For the first time, we've been able to see just how powerful we can be when we show up. Doubtless, our voices have been heard. Imagine how loud we could be if more than 27% of us showed up. Go register to vote.