There is something in the air!
We are witnessing a changing of the guard, a new political epoch, a youth movement, and a call to restore the American dream. One only has to look at how the youth have been engaged during this political season to understand that a generational shift is occurring. This is the start of something much larger.
In 2004, 81.6% of registered 18-29 year olds voted in the Presidential elections, yielding at turnout of 49% of age eligible voters, according to US Census data. Only 60% of 18-29 year olds were registered to vote in that election. If more youth were registered to vote, and voted, Kerry would have won the 2004 election, as 18-24 year olds favored Democrats 56 to 43 percent.
If they just had turned out to vote . . .
Well, the message has been received.
According to a USA Today/MTV/Gallup Poll released on October 6, 2008, 75% of eligible 18-29 year olds are registered to vote in the coming Presidential election. That is an increase of 25% since 2004, the largest increase in age group voter registration in the last 50 years! If only 81.6% of these voters turns our next Tuesday, like they did in 2004, then the under 30 vote will be a record 61.2% turnout.
We live in difficult times, with an economy in the tank, decreasing jobs and security for the young, environmental havoc, a seemingly endless war, and dangerous foreign oil dependency. The youth have noticed. They want to repair the American dream.
The sorry state of our affairs and the strong activist sense of the Millennial generation, 95 million Americans born between 1978 and 2000, will drive record youth voter turnout.
The "will they vote?" question is getting trite and boring.
I am making a bold prediction: 0ver 85%, up to 90%, of registered 18-29 year olds will vote on Election Day, meaning that the overall turnout will be a minimum of 65%, a 35% increase in just four years. That is the sound of the world changing. The familiar rhetoric of the young being self-absorbed and not engaged will be put to rest. This election is about the young becoming active participants in our political process and millions of them saying, "Enough".
This video shares the sentiment of the youth, spoken in their voices. It is touching and has a meaningful call to action. It accompanies my recently released book, Generation We: How Millennial Youth Are Taking over America and Changing Our World Forever. Understanding this powerful generation is crucial, so in addition to traditionally publishing the book, we made it available as open source for free download at www.gen-we.org.