With your support, Rock the Vote ran a national effort that registered nearly one million voters, fought to protect the right to vote of young people, and then asked millions to turn out on Election Day.
We started the latest trend: young people voting. But we also proved that the collective “we” is the most powerful force – in our democracy, in our country, and in the world; and that’s the story that will be written in history books.
Young people once again increased their share of the electorate and played a major role in the presidential election. According to national exit polls, the share of votes cast by those under 30 increased from 18% in 2008 to 19% in 2012, and those voters favored the President by a margin of 60% to 36%. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) released an exclusive turnout estimate yesterday showing that 22-23 million young Americans (ages 18-29) voted in yesterday’s presidential election – that’s at least 49% – maintaining the youth turnout levels of 2004 and 2008 and creating a new normal for participation as the Millennial generation enters the electorate.
CIRCLE also reports that “at least 80 electoral votes depended on the youth vote,” citing that voters under the age of 30 were the deciding factor for President Obama’s victories in states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. The impact of this large and diverse generation of young people within the electorate is now undeniable. And it just proves that any campaign that ignores young voters does so at its own peril.