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Groups Focused On Youth Turnout Claim Victory in Midterm Election

Nov 29, 2018

Progressive organizations spent millions of dollars in Florida trying to increase young voter turnout.

Exit polling from researchers at Tufts University show their efforts may have made a difference in the 2018 midterms. More than 30 percent of registered voters under the age of 29 cast ballots. That's a 25-year-high.

Carly Cass is the state director for the progressive group NextGen America, which spent nearly $10 million on digital ad buys and voter registration efforts ahead of the midterm. She says younger voters helped tipped the scales toward inspiring progressive candidates such as Donna Shalala and Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

"We were able to build a base for young people to go exercise their voice and they will continue to do that for elections to come," Cass said.

Despite higher than normal turnout, young voters were not able to swing the governor and senate races toward Democrats. According to the Harvard Institute of Politics, young people overwhelmingly supported Democrat Andrew Gillum who ended up losing to Governor-elect Ron DeSantis.

Groups like March For Our Lives, who spent the summer hosting town hall events across the state of Florida, were also seemingly unsuccessful in making gun control a top issue for voters this election cycle.

Both groups say they are already planning their get-out-the-vote strategy targeted at young people for the 2020 presidential election. And they expect the influence young voters have will continue to grow.

"We are ready to use our voice," Cass said. "I think what you'll see, especially in 2020, is young people coming out and using their voice to shape this country."