Wow! This has been an incredible election cycle. Young people led record breaking change across the country. In fact, according to exit poll analysis just released by CIRCLE, there was a ten point increase in youth turnout from 2014 to 2018. 31% of young people voted this election! And the organizations in our network – dedicated to building young, local, grassroots power- were the fire behind so much of that change. Here are some exciting updates from a few of our crews:
In Wisconsin, Leaders Igniting Transformation, an organization that is only ten months old, has contributed to rebuilding the progressive infrastructure in their state in a big way. This year they were able to knock 30,000 GOTV doors and send 50,000 GOTV texts! Statewide, 35% of young people turned out and booted Scott Walker and in LIT’s backyard, the Milwaukee City Council will be majority people of color for the first time ever. All of LIT’s hard work helped make these victories possible.
Forward Montana worked tirelessly to engage young people up and down the ballot. Exit poll data shows that young people supported Senator Jon Tester by a 40-point margin, and we just found out that he won re-election. But that’s not all, Forward Montana helped get the 6-Mill Levy over the finish line to keep public investment in higher education. For Forward Montana, their election work continues as there are local undecided races that they are keeping an eye on.
Colorado elected the nation’s first openly gay Governor (Jared Polis), flipped a Congressional House seat, and flipped the state Senate – all victories that New Era Colorado helped realize. In 2010, just four years after New Era was founded, 18-24 year old turnout was 24%. This year, it was 45%. And last night, New Era alumni were elected to Boulder County Clerk (Molly Fitzpatrick),the Colorado state House (Leslie Herod was re-elected), and CONGRESS (Joe Neguse)!
Down in Florida, Engage Miami contributed to the Amendment 4 victory, which will restore the right to vote to 1.5 million Floridians. Their Miami Dade turf saw a 15% increase in turnout from 2014 and two U.S. House seats were flipped (FL-26 and FL-27). Engage registered 1,684 voters at Florida International University (FIU) in FL-26, and helped turn out more than 7,704 voters during early vote. The district was won by 4,079 votes.
In Chicago, the team at Chicago Votes worked to mobilize the generation, resulting in young Chicagoans outperforming all other generations on Election Day for the first. time. ever. And the Chicago Votes crew worked in partnership with other local organizations to win a measure to add a free mental health clinic to one of their target neighborhoods!
Finally, in Texas, we’re celebrating truly incredible increases in youth turnout. We’re talking an over 500% turnout increase during early vote and promising early signals based on exit poll data. MOVE Texas has been a key player in developing that statewide infrastructure – and our team was honored to organize alongside them during GOTV to witness their impact across San Antonio.
These are just a few of the incredible victories that our network contributed to. We’ll be rolling out more victories as folks have a chance to comb through their data and most importantly – rest.
What’s next? Flexing the power that was built throughout this cycle. For our network, voting is just one of the tools we use to fight for change. We will continue to organize on the issues young people in their communities care about at the local, state, and federal level. And the election hustle doesn’t stop – we’ve got our eyes on local races coming up in the Spring.
More to come!