In last week’s Democratic primaries, young people turned out to elect progressive candidates across the country and help Democrats avoid a shutout in California.
Consistent with what we saw in Virginia in 2017, and now this year in California, when NextGen America engages young voters on the issues, explains to them what is at stake, and help them make their voices heard, they turn out and help propel progressive candidates to victory.
In California, the NextGen team knocked on nearly 18,000 doors and made over 80,000 calls, and we saw results. In precincts made up of mostly young voters in targeted California districts, turnout was way up compared to the 2014 midterm primary. In one precinct by Cal State Fullerton (OC Precinct 13065), more than 10 times as many votes were cast this year than in 2014. We don’t know what youth turnout was overall yet, but in some of California’s most youth-dense neighborhoods in targeted districts, we are seeing turnout increases of 8 to 10 percentage points, which is consistent with VA 2017 youth turnout.
Similarly, in Iowa, where the NextGen team made over 2,500 calls and sent over 67,000 texts, in two downtown Des Moines precincts that are majority-millennial (DM56 and DM57), the number of raw votes doubled and tripled over 2014 levels, when there were also a competitive gubernatorial, senate, and congressional primaries. These numbers are the kind of results that make a blue wave feel possible.
Over the past few weeks, NextGen’s teams in Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin have been hard at work running GOTV programs targeting voters under the age of 35 ahead of the June 12th primaries and special elections.
In Nevada, we have knocked on over 6,600 doors and made over 4,200 calls to turn out young Nevadans and put progressives on the general election ballot.
In Virginia, our team has hit over 10,600 doors and made over 5,100 calls to turnout out young people across the Commonwealth.
In both NV-4 and VA-10, NextGen hosted a “Keeping Up With The Candidates” event, where candidates made their case to young voters as to why they should represent them in Washington, DC.
Also today, Democrats face two special elections in SD-1 and AD-42 in Wisconsin.
In the April Wisconsin Supreme Court election, we saw young voter turnout reached record levels in some precincts, which suggests that both of these races could be closer than recent elections.
Over the past few weeks, the NextGen Wisconsin team has hit 4,467 doors in SD-1 and AD-42 and made 3,200 calls to young voters.
NextGen volunteers and staff have been organizing in the Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin all year long, including registering over 7,000 young voters in the field and gathering over 21,000 supporter cards from young people.
Today, we will be tracking millennial-dense precincts in all three states to measure the success of our efforts.