Are Young Superdelegates Following Trends Of Young Voters? A Street Team '08 Report

Over at MTV I explore the question of young Superdelegates and if they are following the trends of the 2008 youth vote.

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There is a lot of talk about young voter turnout and about Superdelegates these days. Young people have emerged as a critical bloc of voters. The media, candidates and many naysayers of the youth vote are finally giving them and the issues they care about attention on the campaign trail.

It got me thinking-are the young Superdelegates following the trends of young voters and how much has the youth vote increased this year?

I decided to take a look at all the primary and caucus states that have voted so far in order to get a good sense as to the young voter trends-increase in turnout, preference of candidate, preference of Party-and then compare that to the Superdelegates under 36 that have come out as "pledged" to a certain candidate.

Trends of Party Preference: The Shift to Democrats

Young people are overwhelmingly going for Democrats this election cycle, following a trend since 2000. Mike Connery, a blogger over at Future Majority, put together this nifty graphic that shows the growing Democratic advantage among young people.



As you can see, already in 2008, young people are voting 65% for Democrats and only 34% for Republicans (it's actually up to 68% now since a few more states have come in after Mike created this graph as you will see later in this post).

Democrats have a 31% vote advantage headed into the Presidential elections not to mention all the down ballot races for Senate, House of Representative, Mayor, etc. this will affect.

While this is great news for the Democrats, it is not so good news for Republicans. But--and a big but at that--Democrats should be forewarned. Republicans had the youth vote during the Reagan years. Almost 60% of the young people then voted for Republicans and continued to vote for Republicans as a bloc of voters.

However, Republicans stopped talking to future groups of young people and it shows now in their numbers. If Democrats want a lasting majority, they need to continue targeted programs at young people or risk losing a big chunk of the electorate in the future. While young people make up about 21% of the electorate now, they will be 30% of the electorate by 2012 and that is a bloc of voters that can very easily swing elections.

State by State Breakdown: Over 4 Million Strong and Growing

Across the board young people have increased their votes in almost every state except in NY there was no increase. The average number of young people voting in a state in 2004 was 46,373. The average in this election cycle is 174,646. That is more than tripling the number of votes cast for 18-29 year olds. This is remarkable since many youth voting experts could have predicted a 15-20% jump, but no one predicted a 200% plus jump.



Read the full post here:

Jane Fleming Kleeb is the Executive Director of the Young Voter PAC which helps Democratic candidates and State Parties win with the 18-35 year-old vote through endorsements, on-the-ground support, training, strategy and money. She is a regular on Fox and is part of MTV’s Street Team ‘08 representing Nebraska.