Youth Vote Anticipated to Impact 2020 Election

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Youth Vote Anticipated to Impact 2020 Election

As the 2020 U.S. presidential election approaches quickly, many Leyden students are looking forward to voting for the first time, especially in such a high profile election.

Though there is still a whole year between now and when voters will head to the polls to cast their ballots, the news coverage and buzz surrounding this election is unyielding. One of the main topics that is talked about amongst the public is how young voters will influence the results of the election. The controversial 2018 midterms saw a jump in campus voting from 19.3 percent in the 2014 midterms to 40.3 percent. This clearly shows that young people are taking a stand in what they believe in by voting for someone that they think will help change their future, and the future of the country for the better.

At Leyden, the entire senior class will be old enough to vote in next year’s presidential election. Many seniors such as, Nico DiBellis, are very excited to be able to vote next year. Nico, a very enthusiastic Trump supporter says he’s voting to reelect the president because Trump, “puts America first and is not afraid to say things that other candidates won’t say.” DiBellis explained that, regardless of candidate preference, “young people should vote so that they can choose a candidate that makes their future better.” Although DiBellis is ready to vote in 2020, he doesn’t think that many other young people are going to vote and make that large of an impact in the election, stating, “young people generally don’t vote.” Which makes sense, since the 1980 presidential election, there were only two elections where over half of the people age 18-29 voted. Those were the 1992 and 2008 elections, and it was barely more than half of all 18-29 year olds with the percentages being 52 percent and 51.1 percent respectively.

Another aspect to consider is that the young voters in this election will include members of Generation Z. The generation that grew up with smartphones in their hands and information at their fingertips is finally going to be able to vote in a presidential election. The youngest voters have political analysts puzzled, and they can’t quite determine if Generation Z will be more conservative or liberal. An article from Business Insider’s collection of articles titled, The State of Gen Z, which follows the unique upbringings of America’s most diverse generation, stated that Gen Z is more conservative than most people think, and will “revolutionize the right.” Others are more observant of the all-around political activism done by high school students. According to a former political organizer, Chris Rhodenbaugh, “Never before have there been as many people interested and involved and as many organizations who are actively seeking the input of high school students. It’s a really important and exciting time to be a high school student in the United States.” 

Voting for next year’s election will take place on November 3. Currently, the nation is focused on the democratic primary race between seventeen candidates. Voting for the primary democratic candidate will take place throughout late February and March. For the Republicans, Donald Trump will be running for reelection.

Mann, Royce. “First-Time Voters a Key Demographic in 2020 Presidential Election.” Best of SNO, 21 Oct. 2019, bestofsno.com/36245/news/first-time-voters-a-key-demographic-in-2020-presidential-election/.

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