Clinton Is The Only Democrat To Lose Youth Vote In Decades


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Phillip Stucky Political Reporter
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Only 38 percent of people under the age of 30 support Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to a Pew research survey published Thursday.

In 2008, President Barack Obama earned 66 percent of support among young voters, although his support among that age range fell to 60 percent in 2012. In stark contrast to Obama’s numbers, Republican nominee Donald Trump earns 27 percent of voters under 30, somewhat less than 2008 nominee McCain’s 32 percent and 2012 nominee Romney’s 36 percent.

Obama’s wins during both elections were decided by the youth vote, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). Obama’s vast lead with younger voters in 2008 awarded the Democratic nominee Indiana and North Carolina, as well as the swing state of Virginia.

CIRCLE asserts that if Romney had achieved a 50-50 split with the president, Romney could have won the four key swing states of Florida, Virginia, Florida, and Ohio, earning the Republican nominee 80 additional electoral votes.

Pew research also reveals that in 2000, Democrats and Republicans split the youth vote, and former President George W. Bush won narrowly in an electoral college battle. Whereas, Democrats carried an edge over Republicans in 2004 with 54 percent support of the nation’s youth, and still lost by a much wider margin.

In fact, Pew polls reported in 2008 that Democrats haven’t polled below 40 Percent with voters under 30 since at least 1980.

Due to heavy youth voters solicitation by Democratic groups like “Rock the Vote” in 2012, young voters have consistently turned out in higher numbers since the 2004 election. Before the 2004 election, youth turnout was often less than 40 percent, according to Politico.

The failure of both major party candidates to capture the youth vote could be blamed in part on Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson. Johnson leads with voters under 30 more than any other age category. Johnson earned 19 percent, and the Green Party grabbed another 9 percent.

Pew surveyed 1,567 likely voters from August 9th through the 16th. No margin of error was published for the youth vote portion of the poll.

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