During the lead-up to today’s midterm elections all eyes were on several competitive Senate races that most analysts believed would determine party control of Congress. As we discussed in a previous analysis, young people (ages 18-29) were poised to make a difference in a handful of these key races that were expected to be very close contests.
Today we saw that young people tilted to the Democrats. In the national exit poll data on House races, 18-29s preferred Democratic candidates by 55% to 42%. In Senate races, young people tilted more Democratic than older age groups, and there was often a pattern that Republican support grew stronger with each older cohort. For instance, in North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan (D) won the 18-29 vote with 54%, but Tom Tillis (R) won the 65+ vote with that amount of support. (However, Hagan had won 71% of the youth vote in 2008.) In Georgia, Michelle Nunn won the youth vote with 59%, but drew only 37% of the 65+ vote. In New Hampshire, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) won all age groups, but the 18-29s were her strongest cohort at 58%.
The table below summarizes how young people voted in the most competitive Senate races. Exit poll data is subject to adjustment after initial release.
|State||% of Youth who Voted for the Democratic Candidate||% of Youth who Voted for the Republican Candidate|
|KS||60% (for Independent candidate)||36%|
|Source: National Election Poll National Exit Poll conducted by Edison Research, accessed at CNN|