Monday, November 10, 2008

Youth Vote Overwhelming in Obama's Victory -- and Coatails to the Democrats

Youth voters (ages 18-29) didn't just rock the vote, they moved mountains this election year. And, as absentee and early voting ballots continue to get counted, the turnout totals continue to rise. CIRCLE now estimates that:

-- 23 million young voters went to the polls on November 4th -- an increase of 3.4 million over 2004.

-- Youth turnout will likely top off somewhere around 52-53 percent. That rivals the 1992 turnout, and will likely fall just short of the all time record of 55.4percent set in 1972.

-- Young voters accounted for 60 percent of the overall voter turnout increase.

-- CIRCLE still estimates that young voters made up 18 percent of the total electorate. This contrasts with the typical voting heavyweight -- seniors ages 65+ -- who comprised 16 percent of last week's voting public.

Take a look at this great electoral vote map, which pictorially shows how the country's youth tilted. Note that it would have been an even more lopsided Obama win if youth voters had anything to say about it. In fact, Obama's staggering 66-32 percent margin among youth voters likely did decide the election. Well, that and the 7-point gender gap in Obama's favor. Women, young people, and the overwhelming minority voter turnout made the difference.

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