The Millennial Youth Vote Takes Center Stage

Literally. In Clinton’s victory speech last night, young Millennials filled the stage behind her. This was in striking contrast to her Iowa speech, in which she shared the stage with a crowd of older people from the 1990s, including Madeleine Albright right next to her.

Both Clinton and Obama are aggressively courting Millennials, both for their votes, and for their energized involvement in their campaigns. Millennials are not just voters, but actors. And actors who deeply understand the powerful new tools of politics on the Internet.

The early numbers out of new Hampshire show how clearing the youth vote is trending towards Democrats and becoming crucial to the two campaigns of the leaders. Here are some numbers from CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement:

Initial New Hampshire Youth Vote Numbers:

* The youth turnout rate rose to 37% in 2008 compared to 18% in 2004 and 28% in 2000.

* 61% of young voters ages 18-29 in New Hampshire chose Democrats over Republicans (raw numbers are Democrats 43,753, Republicans 28,288).

* Young people choosing Democrats over Republicans continues the trend we saw in Iowa where 52,580 caucused with Democrats and only 12,650 turned out for Republicans.

Among Democrats, 18-29 year olds outperformed older voters (CNN exit polling):

* 18-29 year old voters made up 18% of the New Hampshire Democratic primary.
* 30-39 year olds made up 15%.
* 65 and older voters made up 13%.

Young people were split between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (CNN exit polling):

* 18-24 year olds supported Barack Obama (61%) over Hillary Clinton (22%);
* 25-29 year olds supported Hillary Clinton (37%) over Barack Obama (34%);

This is all consistent with what we have been hammering at the New Politics Institute over the last couple years. For more info about what we have been putting out and saying, see a previous blog post explaining four of our key reports.

Peter Leyden
Director of the New Politics Institute