Super Tuesday youth voting turnout a dud, as usual

That hurt Sanders.

Image Credit: Screenshot, CNN/NYTimes

When you’re talking to a political analyst, or talking to anyone about politics for that matter, and they put serious credence into the concept of a decisive youth vote, you are talking to an idiot.

In the most politically active period for youth in our nation’s history, the Vietnam war era, the power of the always leftist youth vote managed to elect Republican Richard Nixon in 1968, in a smart trouncing of the more liberal Democrat Hubert Humphrey, and elect Nixon again in a GOP landslide against the youth vote darling Democrat Senator George McGovern.

Bottom line? Most, not all, kids, and by that we mean those under 30, talk a big game. They scream and screech about whatever their profs have programmed them to say or whatever their parents will hate. But they don’t show up at the polls.

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Recent evidence?

USA Today gives us some data from Super Tuesday, “In Virginia, for example, more than 1.3 million voters cast ballots compared to the roughly 800,000 four years ago. But exit polls on Super Tuesday showed that the share of young voters as a percentage of the entire electorate declined in the Old Dominion, diminishing their influence as a voting bloc.”

“In Alabama, only  10% of the voters were in the 17-29 range compared to 14% in 2016. Sanders won six of every 10 of those voters Tuesday compared to 46% in 2016…In North Carolina, 14% of Tuesday’s electorate were young voters, compared to 16% four years ago. Of those, 57% went for Sanders in 2020 compared to 69% in 2016.”

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“In South Carolina which held its primary Saturday, young voters made up 11% of the electorate compared to 15% in 2016. Sanders won 43% of those voters compared to 54% four years ago…In Tennessee, 11% of those voters showed up Tuesday versus 15% in 2016. Sanders did better among that group Tuesday winning 63% compared to 61% four years ago.”

Apparently not only do they not show up, but even that dismal turnout number is declining.

People vote and get involved in politics when they have something to lose, something to protect. A car your dad bought you and/or your iPhone doesn’t count.

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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