Generation X and Millennials Will Make Up Almost 60% of Eligible Voters This Fall, But Will They Vot
Generation X, Millennials and those born thereafter [the post-Millennial generation] now make up nearly 60% of voting-eligible adults in the United States. Historically, however, turn-out among these groups has been much lower than Baby Boomers and older Americans, especially in mid-term elections. For instance, in the 2014 midterm election, only 39% of Gen Xers and 22% of Millennials turned out to vote. Because of that, in 2014, voters over the age of 50 made up 55% of the vote. And if these turn-out trends were to hold true this Fall, older Americans would still cast more than 50% of the votes even though they make up only 40% of those eligible to vote.
If Democrats expect to retake the House of Representatives, they must focus on increasing turn-out among the young, especially women under the age of 35 who favor Democrats by a whopping 68 to 24% margin. The Democratic Party's advantage with younger voters has been increasing in recent elections and now among registered voters, 59% of Millennials affiliate with the Democratic Party or lean Democratic, while Republicans have a slight advantage with Boomers and a larger advantage with the "Silent Generation," born between 1928-1945.
Elections are about voter enthusiasm and getting your base to the polls, much more so than about changing the minds of your opponents base. If young voters were to turn out in equal numbers to Boomers, or even get close, the Blue Wave would wash Trump's Republican enablers out of both Houses of Congress. But that's a big if and Democratic leadership has yet to roll out a comprehensive strategy to get younger voters to the polls this Fall. We will be writing much more about this in upcoming columns.