Early Voting By Young People Up 500% in Texas and Georgia, Surges Nationwide
Early voting turnout is up across all demographics but most significantly among the youth vote, a Democratic stronghold.
In a surprising surge, early voting among the young is up over 500 percent in Texas and Georgia from the 2014 midterm elections. The increased turnout of young voters aged 18-29 could be a major boost for Democratic candidates in the two traditionally Republican states as the youth vote favors the democratic party.
While the general voter participation of young folks skyrocketed in Texas, Hispanic and African-American votes have doubled in the state – a demographic that also largely votes Democratic. In Texas, the popularity of Beto O’Rourke, the democratic candidate taking on Republican Ted Cruz for a Senate seat, could be drawing more young and minority voters to the ballots. O’Rourke has garnered nationwide attention for his refusal to accept corporate PAC money as he takes on a Republican heavyweight, Ted Cruz, in a traditionally Republican district.
Early Voting Up Across All Demographics
A poll released Monday by the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government found that 40 percent of young voters plan to vote in the midterms, with 66 percent of them saying they plan to vote for a Democratic candidate. The 40 percent figure of young voters planning to vote in the midterms is double the 2014 rate for the same demographic.
In Georgia, early voting by the 18-29 year old demographic is up 476 percent according to TargetSmart which is tracking early voter turnout across the nation. The youth vote is up as well in other states: Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania and Nevada are all reporting at least double the youth vote of 2014.
Early voting across all demographics is largely up, though the youth demographic shows the largest increases. For example, Texas shows the following trends in early voting:
- Ages 18-29 up 503.3%
- Ages 30-39 up 378.8%
- Ages 40-49 up 273.9%
- Ages 50-64 up 170%
- Ages 65+ up 96%
- African American voters up 208.7%
- Asian voters up 201.9%
- Caucasian voters up 165.74%
- Hispanic voters up 214.2%
- Native American voters down 87.5%
What’s unclear is whether the increased turnout of early voting is representative of an increased turnout overall from 2014 or whether voters who voted in 2014 are just choosing to vote earlier. Regardless, the huge surge in early voting by younger voters is likely to benefit Democratic candidates and may encourage more to the polls as election day, November 6, nears closer.
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