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I might be in the minority, but I believe that Democrats are not in for the losses as speculated, and might even see gains. Shocking I know, but most the speculation has focused on voter enthusiasm and other pieces of the puzzle.

There is a group that no one is talking about. A large group who swayed the last two elections. Millennials. I am 24. November will be my 4th congressional election. I also have worked on almost a dozen campaigns, including Obama (before his office in Iowa opened). But those ages 18-24 don't show up on the radar.

I spent a good chunk of my senior year of high school doing data entry for the Iowa Democratic Party and John Kerry. We aren't newcomers, we are the new "old hands". People around my age in particular were forged in that campaign, hardened in 2006, and went to battle in 2008.

Here's my case for why we aren't going away and how to make damn sure we turn out in November.

We've Done It Before
Everyone knows how Obama mobilized young people first in the primary, then the general election. And the Kerry campaign before (keep in mind my focus here, 18-24), but what about midterm elections? These are the age breakdowns from the 2006 and 2008 National House Exit Polls from CNN.

2006 VOTE BY AGE
TOTAL       Democrat Republican
18-29 (12%)   60%   38%
30-44 (24%)   53%     45%
45-59 (34%)   53%   46%
60 and Older (29%) 50%   48%

TOTAL       Democrat Republican
18-64 (81%)   54%     44%
65 and Older (19%) 49%   49%

Notice that 60-64 accounts for 10% of the voters? A big number sure, but they are nearly split between the parties. No side gains votes. But amongst the under 30s, Democrats have a 22% edge. With 85.7 Million voters in 2006 that's a gain of 2.26 Million Votes!

2008 Vote by Age
Total          Democrat Republican Other/No Answer

18-29 (18%)        63%     34%        3%
30-44 (29%)        53%     44%        3%
45-64 (38%)        51%     46%        3%
65 and Older (15%) 49%     48%        3%

Vote by Age
Total          Democrat Republican Other/No Answer
 
18-24 (10%)        62%     35%        3%
25-29 (8%)         64%     34%        2%
30-39 (18%)        53%     44%        3%
40-49 (21%)        52%     46%        2%
50-64 (27%)        52%     46%        2%
65 or Over (15%)   49%     48%        3%

Again in 2008 the same story unfolds, only this time with higher turnout among young people. 18-29 year olds account for 6% more of the total and and even bigger gap in party. In 2008 they net Democrats 6.92 Million votes! With 132.6 Million total votes in 2008, this is slightly less than EVERY OTHER AGE GROUP COMBINED (7.44 Million net votes).

With an additional 4 Million children a year reaching voting age, you really think we are going to lose?

We Are Responsible For The Tea Party

While the Tea Party does have a racist tinge to it, to me it is fundamentally old rich white people. Much like the GOP writ large. So "Why so Serious" now? 2008 was a passing of the baton, they lost control. FOREVER.

People under 30 now push the levers to the halls of power. There's no going back. Democrats have structural advantages now. Young people are the new minority. In the same way blacks and recently latinos became reliable members of the Democratic coalition, Millenials fill that role now. We are not afraid to being called liberals and outnumber the red team by 2-1.

That's what made them go ape shit.

Thanks to the recession we don't have money, lots don't have full time jobs. We have the time to be involved, and everyday there are more, not less of us. If you want to win, speak to us. Directly.

We're Watching Closely

If you don't have a lot of contact with college people you might think the old stereotype of us being uniformed is still true. (It's not.) Almost everyone I know here had an opinion on healthcare, and has an opinion on financial reform. From immigration to gay marriage we know our shit. And don't count us out on international issues such as terrorism and climate change.

The best case for this is my high school friends on facebook. I graduated in 2004, which means almost all of us are entering the work force or graduate schools. I focused on high school because they are a better representation than my everyday friends. I was forced to be with these people for 8 hours a day over the course of 13 years with some of them. We come from a variety of social and economic backgrounds. In this way they are better than my self chosen (very liberal, mostly atheist) friends.

Out of the 300 or so I have some 30 people that regularly comment on my posted links and maybe 100 total who regularly post news or news related statuses. Social media has become a clearinghouse of political news and information. When Obama was elected facebook exploded with status updates, the same happened with healthcare, both are from Facebook Lexicon, which went offline last summer.

After healthcare was passed I got calls for the next week asking not only what it meant for my friends, but what it meant for November. I have also gotten emails from people recently moved asking about voter registration. Not only how but in the case of graduate students, which district they should vote in.

We are strategic. We understand how to play the game of politics and best influence elections.

Tomorrow I'll explain how to mobilize us for campaigns and make damn sure we show up in November.

Originally posted to pleasedontbefake on Tue Apr 27, 2010 at 07:32 PM PDT.

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