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Young voters' enthusiasm for Democrats waning, data shows

Experts warn against reading too much into a possible anomaly.

Published: December 12, 2022 9:41am

Updated: December 12, 2022 11:15am

New data suggests that younger Americans' enthusiasm for the Democratic Party is waning after fewer of them supported its nominees during the 2022 midterms.

During the most recent elections, 53% of voters under 30 supported Democratic House candidates while 41% voted for Republican nominees, according to AP VoteCast, a sweeping national survey of the electorate.

However, that level of support was down compared with 2020 when such voters supported then-Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden over incumbent President Donald Trump – 61% to 36%.

In 2018, voters 18 to 29 went 64% for Democrats compared with 34% for the GOP, which helped the Democrat Party retake control of the House.

Despite the decline in support among younger voters, Democrats exceeded expectations in the midterms, and Biden touted what he called a "historic" young voter turnout. The Associated Press VoteCast data also suggests the overall decline for Democrats over could be a warning sign ahead of the 2024 presidential race. 

University of Florida Political Science professor Michael McDonald warned against reading too much into a possible anomaly, as young people traditionally have voted Democrat. 

The "youngest people also have the weakest partisan attachments, so they can be more susceptible to partisan swings nationally," he said. "There’s no reason why Republicans can’t rebound among younger people."

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