In this year’s election, young voters turned out in surprising high numbers, with the majority voting for President Barack Obama even though the economy is still very sluggish.
On piece of exit poll information that is certain to haunt the Republican loser Mitt Romney and the rest of his party is if he had been able to draw just half of the under 30 voters he might have won the election.
Voters between 18 and 29 who they call the millennial generation were expected to not turn out on Election Day. Observers thought they were uninterested because of partisan politics and unhappy with the president they had endorsed overwhelmingly in 2008.
To the surprise of most, younger voters matched their 2008 participation with close to 50% of the eligible voters younger than 30 voting. Even more important, is they increased the size of their electorate from 2008’s 18% to a current 19%. That surpassed the over-65 voter bloc, which is just 17%.
Even though the support for President Obama in this voting bloc dropped to 60% from the 2008 rate of 66%, young voters ended up being a key voting bloc that helped reelect the president.
Political experts now say that this voting bloc will no longer be just an afterthought for candidates, but will be an important group for candidates and parties to attract.
Conventional wisdom for many months was that this group was turning its back on Obama, as they were not inspired by his lack of fulfilling his promises and the historic nature of his first presidency. In addition, the young voter has seen fewer effects of the recent economic recovery. For people under 30, unemployment is 12%. That was something the Romney campaign tried to capitalize on but failed.