THE YOUTH VOTE….A few weeks ago I wrote a post about the youth vote in 2006. This led to a few emails back and forth with the folks at CIRCLE, who track this stuff, and a few days ago they released a report about turnout in midterm elections.

Basic historical data about youth turnout is shown in the graph on the right (taken from this report). The long-term trend is downward, but CIRCLE believes that youth turnout rose in 2006 for the first time in 20 years. Final numbers won’t be available until spring, but they estimate youth turnout at 24% in the 2006 midterms.

Even better, youth support for Democratic congressional candidates has increased dramatically. The chart below shows the story: From 1992-2002 it hovered around 48%, but in 2004 it jumped and in 2006 it jumped again. Youth support for Dem candidates reached 58% in 2006.

So those are the basic figures. If the final number crunching bears them out, George Bush has apparently motivated young voters to vote in higher numbers and to vote for Democrats in way higher numbers. Quite an accomplishment.

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