The 2022 Mid-Terms Taken in the Hands of the Youth


“I Voted” sticker from the 2022 mid terms on Nov. 8th. Photo Courtesy of Ila Bell

This election, young voters ages 18-29 showed up to the polls, defying forecasts and proving the power of the young generation’s vote. The 2022 midterms, on Nov. 8, had many Americans on the edge of their seats awaiting the close Senate race results and the outcome of the predicted “red wave”. However, the decisive factor of many of the elections was lying on the shoulders of the youth. 

Young voters showed a 27% turnout rate in the recent election, and in battleground states, that number grew to 31% according to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement. This is a significant increase from previous elections and has proven crucial to certain states. Georgia in particular is going into runoffs this year and much of this is due to the increased spike in young voter participation. 

According to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, in Georgia, youth populations overwhelmingly supported the Democratic party, with a 63% to 36% majority in favor of Democratic candidates. Georgia, increasingly becoming a tossup state with many elections, has been one of the deciding factors in this particular midterm. A major contributor to this was the fact that young voter turnout was more than doubled this year in Georgia. 

According to exit polls, 1 in 8 midterm voters were under the age of 30. The predicted “red wave” of the Republican party didn’t go as anticipated and the Senate stayed in control of the Democratic party with both Arizona and Nevada going blue. The key voters in the Arizona election were, like many states, the youth. According to exit polls, voters ages 18-29 preferred democratic candidates by a 76% margin overall. As the Arizona votes were being counted, the predicted win for Kari Lake (R) switched in favor of Katie Hobbs (D) who pulled ahead as the mail-in votes were counted and the Democratic votes took over. 

The young voter turnout was a large factor in the election results, however the preference towards Democrats among young voters is what mainly caused the turnout of the midterms.

The upward trend of youth voters continually becoming more and more impactful can be seen in the past midterms. In the 2018 midterms, there was an overall voter turnout rate of 49.4%, comparable to this year with a 46.9% turnout rate. This is an incredible spike from the 2014 midterms where the turnout was only 36% of all eligible voters. 

The impact that the young vote has, will continue to grow as the younger generation continues to vote in the future. According to Pew Research, voters are typically very unlikely to switch political parties over time and the youth vote is overwhelmingly impactful. So what does this mean for America’s future politics? The youth will increasingly be the deciding factor in elections as they grow to make up more of the voter population. The future of elections are truly in the hands of the youth and the 2022 midterms were a representation of how impactful the young vote can be.