Young voters, motivated again

“In one of the more pleasant surprises of this presidential campaign, young Americans are voting in big numbers, contributing to some unexpected results so far,” according to an editorial in The New York Times.

“This is the first presidential campaign in which people age 18 to 29 make up the same proportion of the electorate as do baby boomers — about one-third. This year, the youth turnout for both parties in the primaries so far is rivaling 2008, the year of Barack Obama’s first campaign.

“These voters have always been tough to motivate. For years young people have been telling Mr. John Della Volpe, the director of polling at the Harvard Institute of Politics, that they’d like to take an active role in politics, but that few politicians have asked. This generation is heavily into volunteerism, the Harvard team found, with a big interest in ‘making the world a better place.’ In focus groups, ‘They want to do more than just vote,’ Mr. Della Volpe says. ‘They want to be part of a campaign. Sanders was the first one since Obama to tap into that.’

“Pat Cotham, a 65-year-old Democratic superdelegate from North Carolina, says this year’s engagement by young people reminds her of her own Vietnam-era college activism. ‘I remember feeling that people weren’t paying attention to us. But young people changed America and it can happen again.’

“Inspiring young voters is crucial for Democrats. People born after 1980 are more racially diverse and socially liberal than any other age group, a 2014 Pew study found, and in the Harvard poll in November 56 percent of voters age 18 to 29 said they want a Democrat in the White House, compared with 36 percent who would prefer a Republican. Yet 40 percent of those in this age group say they are politically independent.”

The full editorial is here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

4 thoughts on “Young voters, motivated again”

  1. The political revolution is on. The question will be how much the establishment of the Democratic Party will disillusion the younger voters with their un-democractic ways? More than ever the future of generations to come are at stake. When the numbers are like 70- 30% in favor of Sanders over Clinton and the Clinton’s, Democratic Party, establishment, corporate media, and the DNC indirectly tell them the issues they are passionate about are not doable they will find somewhere else to invest their energy. Hillary Clinton is as flawed as candidate I have seen in a long time as a major party favorite and the leadership is forcing way too many elected’s to back her with the bs super delegate malarkey. It will come back to bite them in the long run and even in 2016 as all under ballot candidates and issues will suffer because of it.

  2. As for the super delegate thing early on anyway.

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!” Upton Sinclair

    If it comes down to a brokered convention Clinton will lose since her 50 point insurmountable lead disappeared despite all the efforts to secure her nomination. The question then becomes will the Democratic Party actually try and help Sanders win since all of their days of being in a position of power will be numbered with a Sanders Presidency? Or will they undercut him to sweep progressives under the rug for a decades within the party by using the same propaganda they used against Nader in 2000. The difference this time being it came from within the party. Or will they stick with Clinton and eek out the Presidency at the cost of the future of the party?

  3. “Or will they undercut him to sweep progressives under the rug”
    Already happening. Try and turn on a network without hearing the word Socialist. OOGA BOOGA he’s a socialist. That his proposals are not attainable. What crap. Ben– Wasserman Schultz along with the DNC will make it impossible for Sanders. No room in their playbook for a brokered convention.
    I think Michael Moore (Travis’ candidate) would make a good running mate for Sanders though (at this point what difference would it make?:-)
    Lucky (read smart) thing that Occupy had no named leaders— they’d be in dead, in jail, or fighting extradition.

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