President Obama lost ground with voters in the 18-29 age group on Election Day, in spite of his campaign’s aggressive targeting of young voters.
About 60 percent of so-called “millennial” voters favored Mr. Obama this year, compared with 66 percent who voted for him in 2008. Republican Mitt Romney earned 37 percent of their votes; four years ago, Republican Sen. John McCain got 32 percent of the vote from this age group.
“That is an 11-point swing,” said Paul Conway, president of Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit group which engages young adults on civic issues. “The political implications for conservatives and Republicans are very stark. By the year 2020, 38 percent of the electorate will be made up of millennial voters. And it’s quite clear that young adults are not in favor of higher taxes and regulations.”
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement, a youth research organization at Tufts University, said Thursday that more than 22 million young Americans, or about 49 percent of that age group, voted in the presidential election. The group said if Mr. Romney had won half the youth vote, he would have won the battleground states of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and with them, the presidency.