Young Midterm-Election Voters Will Likely Vote for Republicans

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele
A voter leaves a polling booth after casting her ballot at a polling station set up in a residential building near the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street Nov. 2, 2004.
Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

Not so fast, Democrats. You don't have young voters in the bag.

A new Harvard University poll reveals that slightly more than half of young Americans (ages 18-29) who say they’ll definitely be voting in the upcoming midterm elections are planning to vote red. That’s right—for the Republicans.


“The new survey, released Wednesday, found a preference for Republican control among very likely voters, 51 percent to 47 percent,” the New York Times explained.

It’s a slight departure from political convention, seeing as how young people have been leaning left for several years now.

The Harvard Institute of Politics’ polling director, John Della Volpe, said the findings suggest that the youth vote may now be up for grabs. “The period of time from 2004 to 2012 where Democrats maintained a significant margin of young voters appears to be over,” he told the New York Times. “The youth vote is now returning back to pre-2004 levels, where it is actually a key swing vote.”

However, it’s important to note that when the poll took into account all young people—meaning those who are very likely to vote, as well as those who are not likely to vote—those results were more consistent with the norm: “50 percent prefer that Democrats control Congress, while 43 percent prefer that Republicans do,” the New York Times reports.


But in short, it seems young people who are most likely to vote in the midterm elections are Republican.

Regarding young black voters specifically, the percentage who said that they would definitely be voting in the midterm elections was 28 percent—a number that the institute found was too low to make any concrete conclusions about how they’ll lean. 


However, Volpe told The Root that among all young black voters—meaning both those who are most likely to vote in the elections and those who are not—support for Democrats was at 68 percent.

Read more at the New York Times.

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