Dem 51
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GOP 49
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2024 Will Not Be a Rerun of 2016

Democratic pollster and amateur demographer Celinda Lake and filmmaker Mac Heller wrote an interesting op-ed for The Washington Post explaining why the 2024 election will not be a repeat of 2016 or 2020. It's not the economy, stupid. It's the electorate.

Every year, 4 million Americans turn 18 and gain the right to vote. Between 2016 and 2024, 32 million people have become eligible to vote who weren't in 2016. These people skew Democratic. Also, every year 2½ million older Americans die. In 8 years, that is 20 million. These people, R.I.P., skew (slightly) Republican. This means the 2024 electorate will be quite different from the 2016 electorate. However, this is not the whole story. Turnout rates among young voters are low and voter-suppression laws are much stronger and more numerous than they were in 2016. Still, if the Democrats can address the young voters on their own terms, it could make a difference. Here is a graph of turnout rates of young voters. It is increasing, but still below that of older voters. Across all voters, the turnout rate in 2020 was 67%; among seniors it was 72%:

Turnout of young voters 1998-2002; it used to be in the low 40s for presidential 
elections but has trended upward to the low 50s; it used to be in the low 20s for non-presidential elections but has trended upward to the mid-30s

When Lake polled young voters, she discovered that Donald Trump did not play much of a role in their political views. Neither did party identification. They are far more policy-driven than millennials, boomers, or other generations. Gen Z consists of people born from 1997 to 2012, a period of 15 years. In 2024, two-thirds of them will be eligible to vote. These zoomers have been studied intensively. They care about issues like abortion, gender fluidity, and climate change. They are also the least religious generation in history. About 48% identify as a person of color. These are all characteristics that lead them to favor the Democrats. This is why Vivek Ramaswamy and some other Republicans want to raise the voting age to 25 and also require young voters to pass a civics test before being allowed to vote. Of course, this would require repealing the Twenty-Sixth Amendment.

Both parties should be paying special attention to zoomers and young voters generally. The aggressiveness of things like "Where woke goes to die" is a huge turnoff to these people. These voters don't watch cable news (or television at all) so you have to communicate with them on social media, especially TikTok. Messages should be funny, sarcastic, and earnest all at once. Also short. The focus should be on issues, not on candidates and never on parties.

Third parties are intriguing to them. They have never heard of Ross Perot, Ralph Nader, or Jill Stein, and are open to new ideas from outside the mainstream parties. They think of themselves as ignored and marginalized in favor of big money and shouting boomers. They are winnable, but only with the right approach. Telling them that older straight white Christian men have a God-given mandate to rule is not a winning strategy. The party that figures this out first could have the zoomers carry them to victory. (V)

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