Voters under 30 went 53% for Democratic House candidates compared with only 41% for Republican candidates nationwide, according to AP VoteCast, a sweeping national survey of the electorate. But that level of support for Democrats was down compared with 2020, when such voters supported President Joe Biden over his predecessor, Donald Trump, 61% to 36%. And in 2018, when Democrats used a midterm surge to retake control of the House, voters 18 to 29 went 64% for the party compared with 34% for the GOP.
“There might have been retrenchment in youth voters,” said Michael McDonald, a political science professor at the University of Florida and an expert on voting and data.
McDonald cautioned against reading too much into what could be an anomaly. But he said the shift may have been fueled by issues like high inflation, which has hit young people especially hard since their wages are less likely to increase fast enough to keep pace with rising prices.
“Youngest people also have the weakest partisan attachments, so they can be more susceptible to partisan swings nationally,” McDonald said. “There’s no reason why Republicans can’t rebound among younger people.”
Not everybody agrees with the analysis:
Exit polls had young voters:— Simon Rosenberg (@SimonWDC) December 14, 2022
18-29 63-34 +29D
18-44 55-42 +13D
This data is in line with high quality pre-election polls.
The AP VoteCast data (+12D 18-29) is just way off, and should not be taken seriously. https://t.co/wAQMTwAZCF