Over three million young people have already voted, exceeding the 2016 margin of victory in several states
Against the backdrop of an ongoing global pandemic, one good thing is emerging from 2020: young people are turning up in droves to vote in the upcoming US presidential election. With just one week to go until Donald Trump and Joe Biden go head-to-head at the polls, new research reveals the power of Gen Z and millennial voters.
According to a report by the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), over three million people aged between 18 and 29 have already voted in the election, with more than two million of those voting in 14 key battleground states. As of October 21, the number of votes cast by young people has already exceeded the 2016 margin of victory in several states.
A graph shared by CIRCLE shows the colossal extent of the turnout in comparison to 2016, when Trump was first elected into office. In Florida – a key swing state currently led by Biden – more than 257,000 young people have cast their vote, up from just 44,000 at this time in 2016. Other battleground states, including North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Arizona, and Iowa, are also reporting a significant increase in the number of young people who have already voted.
With voters aged between 18 and 34 more likely to vote for the Democrats – according to a poll by Axios and Survey Monkey – these new voting figures will likely be a big source of anxiety for Trump’s campaign team, particularly because 2020 marks the first US election in which millennials and Gen Z make up a larger share of eligible voters than Baby Boomers – 38 per cent versus 28 per cent, as reported by the Center for American Progress.
The increased turnout among young people may be, in part, due to the vast number of celebrities encouraging their followers to vote this year, including Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Kylie Jenner, and many more. It may also be the result of young people galvanising one another on social media – see: the 200-strong TikTok collective advocating for Biden.
It’s most likely, however, that the numbers are due to the fact that Trump has been destroying the US for the last four years, starkly evidenced by – but not limited to – his rolling back of abortion rights, consistent refusal to denounce white supremacists, and his handling of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, which has currently taken the lives of over 230,000 US citizens – the highest death toll in the world.
So, it’s vital that you do like Gen Z, and get out and vote on November 3.