Everyone knows that 2008 was a banner year for young peoples’ participation in the electoral process, and a new study by Project Vote adds even more insight into what was going on.
The bottom line? Young people of color turned out the polls 5-10% higher than in 2004, making up for a slight decrease in older and white voters.
Hold on. Wait. What? Are you saying that the demographic that has historically had the lowest participation rates in the entire country saw the largest gains?
Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. And it’s a big big deal.
Obviously, the 2008 general election was abnormal: a general national dissatisfaction, politics becoming cultural, and, of course, the first black president.
All of those had a large effect, but to leave it at that is short-sighted. The percentage of people of color (and especially young people of color) was the highest ever. And notably, the rising Millenial generation (those born between 1979 and 1994) is the most diverse generation in the history of the United States.
Last November was not the norm, but it’s not unreasonable to see it as the forefront of a trend that will continue into the future.
Food for thought…