Elections aren’t always a priority for busy college students, but it’s likely their vote means more than they think. Historically, young adults have not turned out to cast their ballot in the same numbers as older citizens. But according to the Campus Vote Project that could be changing since “of the 18-24 year old college students that registered to vote [in 2008], 87 percent actually voted.” That dwarfs the national average, where just 57 percent of registered voters actually showed up.
Obama’s appeal to college students and young adults in 2008 is well-documented. At the Iowa caucuses in early 2008, the victory that kicked off his journey to the presidency, Obama lost among all voters older than 30, John Della Volpe, director of polling at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University, said during a panel discussion Tuesday. “If not for millennials in Iowa,” Della Volpe said, referring to those young voters, “it’s likely that Hillary Clinton and not Barack Obama would be president.”
During the general election, voters under 30 flipped three states from Republican to Democratic -- Virginia, Indiana and North Carolina, where Obama won by 48 percentage points. Nationwide, he won by 34 points among young voters.
It’s easy for students to follow their candidate on Twitter, register to vote online and find their polling location on their smartphones. The deadline for voter registration has already passed in most states, but for those who are registered, the opportunity to participate in the most important democratic process is just days away.