- The “red tsunami” Republicans hoped for didn’t happen in the midterm elections.
- Advocates and lawmakers credit the youth voter turnout that contributed to the Democratic victory.
- Student loan forgiveness was a major policy supported by a majority of young voters.
If President Joe Biden hadn’t enacted broad student loan forgiveness, Republicans might have won the election they wanted.
Generation Z might have helped.
Heading into the midterm elections, polls predicted a sweeping victory for Republicans across the board, allowing them to regain significant control over the House and Senate. but, result The day after the election it became clear that the control of the Senate and Senate was so close that the red wave turned into ripples.
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what caused this shift, but the views of younger voters should be considered. according to Edison Research National Election Pool exit polls show that 63% of voters ages 18-29 voted Democratic, while 89% of black youth and 68% of Latino youth voted for Democratic congressional candidates. The oldest, Gen Z, turns 25 this year, and the group includes the youngest millennials and voting-age Zoomers.
“Youth’s role in this election cannot be underestimated. Turnout was provided in many of these races,” New York State Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter.
“By 2024, Millennial and Generation Z voters will outnumber Baby Boomers and above voters by 45/25,” she added. “We are beginning to see the political ramifications of that generational shift.”
—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 9, 2022
Key issues such as reproductive rights, climate change, and student loan forgiveness may have contributed to higher voter turnout. John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School of Political Research, said: I have written “Without voters under 30…it would have been a red wave tonight,” he said on Twitter, referring to Biden’s policies on climate and student debt that he claimed helped Democrats win votes.
student loan waiver currently paused This follows a ruling by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit filed by six Republican-led states seeking to stay debt relief.But Biden’s August publication Giving up to $20,000 in relief to federal borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year was a long-awaited policy promised by the president during the campaign that was consistently well-voted among younger voters. did.a poll For example, last year’s Morning Consult found that millennial voters were the most likely of all Americans to support paying off student loans.
Mr. Biden has frequently touted bailouts for midterm elections and lashed out at Republicans for trying to stop debt forgiveness from hurting federal accounts. 26 million borrower accounts Those who have already applied.But White House Chief of Staff Ron Crane Said Even amid these challenges, Biden’s implementation of progressive priorities can help motivate young voters now and set a precedent for the future.
“The youth agenda is taking center stage in the Democratic Party.”
Support for student loan forgiveness is higher among younger voters than the general public.wall street journal poll Last week, we found that 48% of the public supported Biden’s debt relief plan, and 59% of voters ages 18 to 34 backed the plan. exit poll It turns out that about half of the voters also support the plan.
In the months leading up to the midterm elections, some Democrats emphasized the importance of youth voting. For example, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren Said In January, half a year before Biden announced broad debt forgiveness, he said, “Forgiving more than 40 million Americans of student loan debt will let many young people know that this president is fighting for them.” I will convince you,” he said.
Christina Zintun Ramirez, president of NextGen America, a progressive group that mobilizes young voters, told Insider: We will continue to provide debt relief, expand and raise minimum wages, and protect union rights.”
“Youth agendas are at the heart of the Democratic Party,” she said. “The red waves and tsunamis that were reported to be coming didn’t come because young people came out.”