With the presidential election season coming up, the previous midterm elections have shown that the younger, marginalized groups of people will make their voices heard.
An article from the Pew Research Center by Anthony Cilluffo and Richard Fry titled “Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X outvoted older generations in 2018 midterms” revealed that midterm voter turnout reached a modern high in 2018.
Assistant political science professor Eric Groenedyk said the changes in demographics come from the deaths of the “greatest” or “silent” generation. Groendedyk said younger generations are beginning to replace them as they approach their thirties and forties.
“It’s more about the life cycle and generational replacement than something specific about these generations,” Groenendyk said. “Young people of any generation tend to vote at low rates, but their participation starts to increase as they age.”
Groenendyk said the older generation with continue to pass away and contribute less to voting, while younger generations will step up. Groenendyk also said this shift would drastically change the political landscape.
“Republicans have gotten their votes primarily from older generations, while Democrats have gotten theirs from the younger,” Groenendyk said. “These different generations have pretty different opinions on a variety of issues, particularly social issues. Thus, these effects are politically consequential.”
The Pew Research Center article said midterm minority turnout increased among Hispanics and Asian Americans in 2018.
Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economic and Managerial journalism Otis Sanford said one of the main reasons for the increase in minority turnout was the “surprise” of the 2016 election results and a sense of hatred from the current administration.
“Many of them have the belief that the current administration cares nothing about them and are, in fact, hostile to them,” Sanford said. “The increase in voters in 2018 from every demographic group was intended to send a message, and it did.”
Sanford said he believes that this is just the beginning, and the 2018 midterm is a preview of what is to come in the near future.
“I believe the turnout will be even stronger in 2020,” Sanford said. “I predict there will be a record turnout next year, the largest one since 1964.”
A survey conducted by Tisch College showed 73% of college students were registered to vote for the midterm primary, an increase from 65% from 2014. The survey revealed that 55% of college students voted, another increase from 29% in 2014.
Political science major Megan Beckwith said the best thing to do is get informed when it comes to registering and voting
“A lot of people find out they aren’t registered to vote or don’t understand how to vote, and by the time you get into the election, it is too late,” Beckwith said.
In 2016, 64% of Americans said fabricated or “fake” news stories cause a lot of confusion about current issues and events, according to the Pew Research Data Center.
Political science major Hannah Shelton said to think of others, like the college student body, as well as yourself when picking a politician and their policies.
“After researching as much as you can, find a couple of policies that represent you in addition to other like-minded college students,” Shelton said.