Cue Republican efforts to keep that number as low as possible. In general, new voters = young voters != GOP voters.
This includes my own teenager!
That’s so great! My teen won’t be 18 until next Fall, but he already knows how important it will be to vote.
I wouldn’t be surprised if some misinformation is spread on Facebook telling people they can’t vote unless they voted in the general election, but I doubt there will be any official efforts to block votes unless one or both of the Democrats win. If that happens, I’m sure the GOP will try to challenge whatever law allows people who became eligible after the general election to vote in the run-off.
But yeah, mine was disappointed to be unable to vote in this election, but is happy about this one!
Mine became eligible in time for the general. Our issue with them was just procrastination. Teenagers seem to raise that to a fine art form. They waited until the last minute to get registered, despite pretty constant pestering from us. I very much hope teens down there get registered and get voting pronto!
The tension is killing me.
Honestly, that probably won’t take any effort. A massive constant frustration for the Democrats is that people under 25 don’t vote. They riot, they protest, they meme, they hashtag, then they don’t fucking vote. This is not cranky old person talk, it’s a real known problem that nobody seems to know how to fix. It’s what Obama was talking about in his famous “don’t complain, vote” speech.
There are huge numbers of 18-25s in this country who could (and would) easily hand every election to Dems if they actually voted.
I imagine normal morbidity rates, plus COVID, will likely remove more GOP voters than Dems.
Still, apathy will be the determining factor.
And yet, I see no evidence that the Dems have actually tried to better represent the under-25s’ interests in response to this frustration, or even make a genuine effort to figure out why young people don’t vote. And that is cranky old person behavior right there.
Yes, obviously, Dem wins are almost universally better and/or less bad for their interests than Rep wins. But young people have no money to donate, their visible and vocal protests show them that no one is listening or cares about what they want or need, and if no one wants their votes enough to engage with them honestly and with interest, then withholding those votes may be the only tool they have left. No one wins that kind of game of chicken until someone compromises, and its the candidates that are applying to work for voters, not the other way around.
Edit to add: @docosc, that makes sense, I had just been assuming the increased access to early and mail-in voting played a big role this time around. A 10% youth vote turnout increase still leaves a giant gap between them and other age groups, though.
Usually true, but maybe not (or at least, not as much) this time around:
That’s definitely a known problem, but to even start fixing it the DNC has to start promoting progressive policies that actually look forward to addressing the issues of the future rather than trying to bring us back to the “normal” of 1992. Instead, the Dem establishment continues to try to attract middle-aged “independent centrist” and “undecided” voters (AKA morons who are prone to vote GOP) to try to make its margins.
Uncle Joe’s appointments and choices of advisors so far don’t offer a whole lot of hope for change in this regard. To be sure they’re more competent and serious about public service than Biff’s coterie (jumping a very low bar), but I’m seeing a lot of the same old neoliberal-lite, tough-on-immigrants, and oil-and-fracking-friendly Dems who have been around since Clinton [topic for discussing that is here]
tl;dr – give young people candidates and policies that are focused on making real changes (rather than the hopey kind) and the Dems might start making a dent in the problem.
Perhaps, and I certainly wish the Democrats weren’t right of conservatism in every other democracy. That said, the US is a deeply conservative and racist country and they have to win in that environment. The analysis coming out of this election is that they won almost entirely by flipping suburban women from Trump to Biden, and that group universally opposes Bernie-like policies. Right or wrong, that’s the information they are acting on.
It’s easy to say Bernie would have won or a more progressive platform would perform better, but it’s all speculation. Right now the system is so rigged that I’m not sure the Dems can take risks like that.
Edit to Add: If under-25s couldn’t get off their butts to vote in this election to (basically) prevent civil war, then I have no sympathy for them standing for more progressive values. You don’t get anything when the country burns down. This whole business of staying home because you don’t like the options is horseshit.
I wish it were just “morons who are prone to vote GOP.” I know a lot of lifelong Democrats who hate Trump and voted happily for Clinton and for Biden, but Bernie and AOC and Warren make them really, really nervous. 40 years of constant propaganda that government run anything is less efficient than private run anything, and that anything other than Social Security with the word “social” in it equals socialism equals communism equals bad has left them really resistant to anything moving us left from where we are now. Which is insane, but that’s where these people are. They’re comfortable voting for Biden/Clinton/Obama center/center-right Democrats, and will vote for center-left Democrats, but they’re afraid that truly progressive-left/far-left Democrats want to turn us into Cuba. Again, this is insane, but that’s what 40 years of media and school propaganda will do. I used to be there myself. I grew up in Texas. I believed that the Civil War was about states’ rights, and that the war for Texas’s independence was a noble fight for independence from an evil dictatorship. It took me a few years to overcome that programming. I wish I knew how to deprogram everyone else, but I don’t.
I think that’s changing as generational clout shifts from the Boomers to the Millenials. That’s not to say that conservatism and racism is over, but that there’s more hunger amongst younger people for the kind of programmes available in other OECD democracies and somewhat less tolerance among them for open bigotry (the bulk of Qanon and OAN types and Biff’s supporters are age 55+). Support for single-payer universal started trending at 70%+ at about the same time that the adult Millenial population started matching the Boomer one.
Correct, but it was still a narrow margin. In trying to flip those age 40+ “centrist” voters by downplaying progressive policies, though, the Dems left an equal or greater number of young voters with zero inspiration to come out to the polls. The whole Dem campaign amounted to the same old “our guy isn’t as gross and corrupt and narcissistic as their guy”.
I almost take the opposite approach there, especially since young people know that the system is broken by design. Saying “screw it, let’s try to effect some real, affirmative change” is not the same thing as saying “screw it, let’s burn it all down”. Young people looking for the latter are going to find a home in either the alt-right or the “dirtbag left”, but there are a whole bunch of disengaged young voters looking for the former.
On an individual basis, sure, but as @docosc notes above they did better in 2020 than they have in the past. A lot of it is probably due to fear of what four more years of Biff would have brought, though. The Dems will have to work harder to get them to come out in the same numbers next time.
Well, those aren’t really independents or undecideds – they’re Third-Way Dems, older ones who’ve spent the bulk of their lives exposed to that propaganda. People under 40, in contrast, have spent 1/3 of their adult lives hearing the counter-narratives of Occupy and climate justice and seeing first-hand how badly global neoliberalism and imperial adventurism can fail American society.
They did come out in larger numbers this year, though. So, that might be changing.
This is a very true statement, and it was (barely) sufficient this time around, I suspect largely due to the incredible degree of “gross and corrupt and narcissistic” exposed in their candidate. It will not be sufficient next time if Biden & co. don’t step up to the plate and do more than just stop the bleeding (a very necessary first step) and actually take steps to engage the progressive youth vote. I have to cling to that hope. It’s all we’ve got right now.