Young voters historically tend to be one of the least reliable demographic groups when it comes to turning out to vote regularly in elections. However, there is preliminary evidence to indicate this year’s election will be an exception to the rule. Survivors of the Parkland shooting have been vocally active in gun control and voter registration efforts during the past seven months, and their efforts might be starting to show results, according to findings from the Democratic-aligned data firm TargetSmart. Based on a review of voter registration data for 18-29 year-olds in 39 states, the organization found:
- The share of youth voter registrants nationwide has increased by 2.16 percent since February 14, 2018 – the date of the Parkland shooting.
- How that surge in youth voter registration breaks down states that have key elections this November:
- Arizona: +8.16 points
- California: +3.37 points
- Florida: +7.99 points
- Indiana: +9.87 points
- Minnesota: +4.68 points
- Montana: +3.81 points
- Nevada: +6.62 points
- New York: +10.7 points
- Ohio: +5.95 points
- Pennsylvania: +16.14 points
- Tennessee: +3.82
- Texas: +0.12
- Virginia: +10.49
- Wisconsin: +5.64
- In contrast, youth voter registration dropped in only four states and the District of Columbia.
- District of Columbia: -2.99
- Iowa: -0.3
- South Dakota: -1.4
- West Virginia: -11.52
- Wyoming: -7.1
The numbers for competitive swing states like Arizona, Florida, Nevada and Pennsylvania are particularly stunning. New York and Virginia are safely Democratic states for their statewide candidates on the ballot this year, though the real beneficiaries of that increased turnout might be downballot Democratic candidates and ballot initiatives. In a close election, the slightest margin could make all the difference.
Another data point worth keeping in mind: according to the U.S. Census, only 46.1 percent of 18- to -29-year-olds voted in the 2016 election, but this group reported a 1.1 percent increase in turnout from 2012. According to exit polls, Hillary Clinton won this age group 55-37. Why is this important? Because if TargetSmart’s 2.16 percent nationwide calculation is correct, it means that youth voter turnout increase in 2018 may double what it was two years ago.
In summary, if this data is correct and more young people are registering to vote, it means that Democrats are expanding their base of voters, which was a crucial element to Barack Obama’s political success in 2008 and 2012.
North Carolina governor Pat McCrory just released this video statement through the official North Carolina governor’s office account announcing his concession:
Here are the reactions:
Democratic National Committee:
North Carolina Democratic Party:
There are no statements yet from the Republican National Committee, the Republican Party of North Carolina, or the Republican Governors Association. This post will be updated if they make any public statements later.
According to most recent figures published last night as part of the Durham County recount ordered by the North Carolina State Board of Elections, of the 52,833 ballots counted, Roy Cooper picked up 3 votes, Pat McCrory lost 1 vote and the overvote tally dropped by 2. The recount continues on Monday morning.
Here are the two most recent tweets about it from Durham County Government:
Numbers should be coming in later, but based on these tweets, it’s not looking good for Pat McCrory.
The North Carolina State Board of Elections ordered a machine recount of 90,000 votes in heavily Democratic Durham County, a request backed by Pat McCrory’s campaign and the state Republican Party. The board’s decision came down to a 3-2 vote on party lines.
More details on the 90,000 votes in question, from the Raleigh News & Observer:
The roughly 90,000 votes under scrutiny in Durham were added to the statewide tally around 11:30 p.m. on election night. McCrory, who is seeking a second term, appeared to be leading statewide until those votes were added to the total; Democrat Roy Cooper, North Carolina’s attorney general, has been leading in the count ever since.
Baker said the late shift could have reminded voters of fraudulent elections in which corrupt officials added to the vote count if their candidate was behind. He said that practice was once common in Madison County, a rural county near Asheville where he lives.
“I’m not saying that’s what happened here,” Baker said. “I personally don’t have any reason to doubt that any information entered was correct.”
Another Republican board member, Rhonda Amoroso of Wilmington, cited past election problems and staffing changes in Durham County as one reason to hold a recount. “I think right now we have a taint,” she said.
McCrory’s campaign said he won’t seek a statewide recount if the Durham votes are recounted. Election officials there said the recount would take about eight hours, so it’s possible the governor’s race could be settled by the end of the week.
In the latest numbers on Wednesday, Cooper’s lead was above 10,000 votes for the first time as the final counties were finishing counting absentee and provisional ballots. Several more counties are expected to finish their tallies by the end of the week; McCrory isn’t eligible for a statewide recount unless the margin is less than 10,000.
Reaction from the Cooper campaign:
Reaction from the McCrory campaign:
What’s the end game in all this? According to News & Observer political reporter Colin Campbell:
Politico has a good look at the governors’ races coming up in the next two years, and how they offer the Democratic Party’s best immediate chances as a path to rebuilding in the wake of the recent election.
Coming up first are the New Jersey and Virginia governor’s races and statewide legislative races scheduled for late 2017. Candidates in both parties are already moving in these races. I will write a preview/outlook of these states and races in December as a look for what’s ahead in the new year.
Even further down the line are the 2018 midterms. The Senate calendar that year is particularly difficult, and the likelihood of retaking the House of Representatives is slim. However, 26 out of 36 governor’s mansions up for election (or re-election) are held by Republicans. This means that if Democrats can retake some of those states, their party will be in place and in control for the 2020 census and redistricting.
The great unknown right now will be the dynamics of the country and individual states going into those election cycles. Looking at it one or two years ahead, the two obvious factors that will have an impact will be the state of the economy, as well as the popularity of the Republican-controlled Washington DC (President Trump and the McConnell/Ryan Congress).
Lots more on this subject to come in the future.
According to the most recent numbers released today by the North Carolina State Board of Elections, Democratic attorney general Roy Cooper leads incumbent Republican governor Pat McCrory by 7,742 votes.
UPDATE: According to a Cooper campaign press release put out on Monday morning, Cooper’s lead has grown to 9,133.
UPDATE II: From Raleigh News & Observer political reporter Colin Campbell