By Ben Wessel, Executive Director, NextGen America

Every election brings with it questions about young voter turnout: namely, will they or won’t they? Headlines about “lazy” and “apathetic” Gen Z’ers and millennials are par for the course in political commentary.

In 2020, uncertainty over youth turnout was even more rampant than usual. The coronavirus pandemic shut down tried and true methods of voter engagement, like clipboarding for voter registrations on campuses and canvassing in neighborhoods. What’s more, after a historically diverse Democratic primary, we entered the general election with a Democratic nominee, Joe Biden, who had a dismal -22 favorability rating with young Americans. …


by NextGen America Executive Director, Ben Wessel

Check out this bonkers stat from a precinct at the University of Central Florida in Orlando:

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Though we aren’t getting the overall results we want in Florida, this is a bright sign for the enthusiasm of young voters. It seems that every registered voter who lives in the precinct showed up to vote, and then new folks who moved into the precinct changed their address at the polls. NextGen Florida has been instrumental to the work at UCF: We made 1,377 calls and sent 2,258 texts to people who live in this precinct and registered 1,390 voters at UCF. …


by NextGen America Executive Director, Ben Wessel

Soaring youth turnout was the story of the early vote, but it seems like Gen Z and millennials weren’t ready to call it quits yet! We’re seeing the energy from the past few weeks persist today around the country. Here’s a “Top 5” of some of the most exciting signs from student and campus turnout — and they’re all campuses where NextGen America has been organizing all year long:

1) WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY — Seeing enthusiastic students waiting in line in Kalamazoo is a good sign for Democrats excited about swinging Michigan back to blue in the presidential race, as well as for progressive candidate for the US House Jon Hoadley in MI’s 6th congressional district! …


By NextGen America Executive Director, Ben Wessel

NextGen had a HUGE weekend of voter contact, and we’re still going strong. You know the drill: Sign up here to volunteer.

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FLORIDA UPDATE

Yesterday was the last day of Early Vote in Florida, and with election projections showing Florida as a possible early decider of the presidential race, here’s a breakdown of where things stand with young voters in the Sunshine State:


By NextGen America Executive Director, Ben Wessel

Today, we’re taking a look at the incredible early numbers coming in from North Carolina. Notably, 108,262 “low turnout” progressives targeted by NextGen NC have already voted. That’s roughly the size of the combined enrollments of UNC, NC State, East Carolina, and Duke (extra emphasis on the fact that these young people not only voted, but voted early). We expect to see even more young people show up on Election Day now that early voting has concluded in the Tar Heel State.

More NC tidbits:


By NextGen America Executive Director, Ben Wessel

Happy Halloween, folks! There’s officially less than 100 hours until polls close, and the NextGen America team has kicked into high gear to get all the young goblins and ghouls out there to the polls!

BIG NUMBERS INCOMING

NextGen has been prepping for this weekend for two years and our progress has just far surpassed anything I could have imagined. Some eye-popping stats from the NextGen America team:


By NextGen America Executive Director, Ben Wessel

CHECK. THIS. OUT.

We just got back our final October battleground youth poll (AKA the “Youth Vote Vibe Check”) and it’s got some eye-popping news. 80% of young voters in battleground states say they are “definitely” voting in this election or have already voted. It’s a 10-point jump from July, (when 70% reported they would “definitely” cast a ballot) and it’s a HUGE deal, especially considering that another 11% report they will “probably” cast a ballot. We’re on our way to record youth vote turnout.

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The poll also shows Biden commanding a 32-point lead (63% to 31%) over Trump among likely young voters. Bottomline: Young people are showing up with Obama ’08-style intensity.


By NextGen America Executive Director, Ben Wessel

Last call for the last Youth Vote Vibe Check polling call tomorrow at 11am PT/2pm ET! RSVP here. We’ll be presenting in-depth on young people’s likelihood to vote for Biden, but we already have one key tidbit there, courtesy of CNN polling: Favorability for Biden among 18 to 34-year-olds has skyrocketed by +45 pts from May to October, whereas all other age groups have basically seen their opinions of Biden stay constant. This spike would not be possible without NextGen’s work to organize and energize young voters, and we need your help for the final stretch!


by NextGen America Executive Director, Ben Wessel

Before jumping in, a quick reminder to RSVP for our final Youth Vote Vibe Check this Friday! We’ll be giving a last look at polling on young voters.

Now for the rest of our update. Major takeaway from NBC News?

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BIG NUMBERS OF THE DAY


by NextGen America Executive Director, Ben Wessel

Take a look at these jaw-dropping numbers from Pennsylvania:

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Emphasis here on the roughly QUARTER-MILLION young voters contacted by NextGen PA who have already voted. That’s nearly the population of Pittsburgh. And the Keystone State’s trends are not an outlier, as Politico reports:

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According to Politico, via TargetSmart:

Keep in mind that young voter turnout tends to increase further as Election Day approaches., which NextGen Nevada State Director Mark Riffenburg lays out in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Riffenburg also noted that some 72,000 young people participated in the first 10 days of early voting in 2016, but 69,000 voted in the final four days — meaning younger Nevadans tend to wait until closer to Election Day.” …

About

NextGen America

Mobilizing the #YouthVote across 11 states. Visit us at nextgenamerica.org to learn how you can join the fight.

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