It’s typically hard to get young people to vote, especially in a mid-term year like 2018. But this year proved different than mid-term years before, as young people voted in droves, swinging elections and making legislatures in Washington DC and in capital cities across the country look a little more like the United States as a whole.
According to the CIRCLE Data Project at Tufts University, turnout among voters 18–29 reached 31%. That might not sound like much, but it’s a 10% increase from 2014, and it’s also the highest level of engagement in that age bracket in 25 years.
This age bracket also voted overwhelmingly Democratic.
Jon Tester of Montana won voters younger than 30 by 43 points in keeping his seat in the United States Senate.
Beto O’Rourke of Texas won voters younger than 30 by 42 points, though he narrowly lost his challenge to take Ted Cruz’s seat in the U.S. Senate.
In Wisconsin, turnout among voters younger than 30 spiked more than 800% during the early period, helping Tony Evers knock off incumbent Scott Walker in his race for the governorship.
In short, young people voted this year following election cycle after election cycle of others complaining that young people just don’t care about politics.
And the turnout among voters 18–29 is sure to be even higher in 2020 when the current president is up for reelection.
Let’s get more of these young people registered to vote, and let’s encourage them to make their voices heard in 2020.