The research group CIRCLE has a new report out on youth involvement in the 2010 elections, and it’s full of fascinating data, but a few demographic stats thing out at me when I read it:
- Among young voters, 14% of the electorate was black this year. (Just 10% of over-thirty voters were.)
- Seven percent of young voters described themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, compared with 4% of over-thirty voters.
- Young Latinos represented 15% of the youth electorate, but only 14% of the young population as a whole.
What does this all mean? Well, for starters, it’s another nail in the coffin of the “only 4.7% of blacks voted” myth that swept Twitter last week. Blacks voted roughly in line with their proportion of the country’s population, and young blacks — the exact demographic that was so upset about the 4.7% stat — were as likely to vote as young whites.
More generally, it means that the generation of voters coming up now is more diverse — and more progressive — than the ones who came before. Young voters saved the Democratic party from an even more dismal November this year, and the party would do well to remember that going forward. The youth vote is a powerful asset to the Dems right now, but it’s not one they can take for granted.