Youth Voter Turnout Tips the Scales in Key Elections as Ballots Continue to be Counted
While control of congress continues to hang in the balance, young people are the clear winners in this election as our votes play an outsized role in races across the country.
NEW YORK, NY — As the votes continue to be tallied, one thing is clear: young people’s political power is only growing. In races today with razor-thin margins, our votes were the ones to determine the results. Exit polls show that in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and New Hampshire, the youth vote broke significantly for Democrats, delivering the margin of victory in tight races for Governor and the Senate, helping to defy midterm expectations. In these races, candidates made their stances clear on top issues like gun safety and abortion, and March For Our Lives’ polling data ahead of the election showed that taking bold stances results in higher voter enthusiasm for young folks. While results are still coming in, it’s clear that these stances drive youth to the polls and swayed the vote.
With control of congress still in the balance, it’s clear that young people and the gun safety movement won in this election. In Oregon, despite being outspent by the gun lobby, Measure 114 won to deliver a significant step forward in the fight for gun safety — requiring safety training and a criminal background check to purchase a firearm, and prohibiting high capacity magazines. Candidates scored by March For Our Lives, including Mark Pocan (WI, House), Greg Casar (TX, House), Lucy McBath (GA, House), Rashida Tlaib (MI, House), and Hillary Scholten (MI, House), all won their elections. Maxwell Frost in Florida, March For Our Lives’ first Organizing Director, delivered Gen Z our first congressman and gave us the clearest indication yet that Gen Z power is ascendant.
This cycle showed that as Gen Z grows as a voting block, bold, progressive stances that boost enthusiasm are key to victory and provide a clear pathway to success in 2024. Our future depends on bold stances, and it depends on candidates delivering on their promises to prove to young voters that our democracy works and our votes mean something beyond election day. . We can no longer accept business-as-usual excuses. Young people stood up to be counted, and now we will hold our politicians’ feet to the fire.