Future Majority

In a post titled, “Souther Carolina: Youth Turnout Triples. Again.” young voter guru Mike Connery has a great break down of how the youth vote turned out in South Carolina.

Turnout in the Democratic Primary in South Carolina almost tripled yesterday. According to CIRCLE, 74,245 young voters went to the polls, 19 percent of eligible young voters. In 2004, only 26,181 voters aged 18 to 29 participated. As a share of the electorate, young voters made up 14 percent of the electorate, an increase of 5 percent over the previous cycle.

This is great news for Democrats, both in the short term and long term. Young voters are one of the few demographics that we can look at and see room for major growth of Democratic voters. What makes this cycle so special is that we are growing in that demographic in huge numbers. The sooner people start voting Democratic in their life, the more likely it is that they will become life-long Democratic voters.

Plus Connery, citing a Maureen Dowd comment, notes that the press is noticing the huge Democratic gains in the youth segment. “As youth turnout has continued to rise in each contest, the pundits are sitting up and taking notice, and something of a new conventional wisdom seems to be forming.”

A narrative developing that says this is an election where young people are turning out in huge numbers has the potential to be self-fulfilling. Voting validates voting and I can think of few pieces of conventional wisdom that would be more beneficial for Democratic prospects than the story line that this will be an election where young voters have a huge impact.

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