The underrepresentation of youth turnout was this year’s problem du jour for pollsters.
The underrepresentation of youth turnout was this year’s problem du jour for pollsters. There seem to be two major reasons for this. The first is technical. I don’t know a single 20-something who will pick up their phone to a random number. The second was Democrats’ saving grace this cycle: pro-choice voters. A plurality of us are young, and most of us don’t want to talk to focus groups or pollsters about this deeply personal issue.
We grew up in a post-Roe world where abortion was more than just taken for granted – it was taken as sacred. As Gen Zers, many of us have never even fathomed what a world without Roe would look like. So this year, when we had to fathom it real quick, we made sure we voted, in a cycle when many of my apolitical contemporaries would have stayed home. What do Trump voters and pro-choice voters have in common? The pollsters underestimated them.
Also similar to Trump, I’m afraid abortion’s staying power as an issue that moves majorities to the polls might already be waning. Especially for those of us in states such as Pennsylvania who are now guaranteed at least four more years of bodily autonomy, this was very possibly the last abortion election.
Democrats, want to keep youth turnout close to the 30% it was on Tuesday? Easy. Focus on the issue that affects our freedoms, finances, prosperity, and very health more than any other: the climate. That is the only issue with staying power that is guaranteed to grow. As the dearth of climate-related reports released this week make clear: no matter what we do, this calamity will only get worse.
So Democrats, act now, or risk losing the very bloc that saved your skin on Tuesday.