- The Washington Times - Monday, December 12, 2022

Young-voter support for Democrats dropped off in recent elections, raising questions about the party’s ability to hang onto the so-called Obama coalition that has driven its success at the ballot box for a decade.

Such a dip would pose a challenge for President Biden.

The nation’s oldest president will be fast approaching his 82nd birthday if he runs for reelection and will be looking to woo millennial and Generation Z voters, including some first-time voters who will be more than 60 years his junior.

The warning signs for Democrats showed up in an Associated Press VoteCast survey that found Democratic House candidates received 53% of the youth vote in the Nov. 8 election, compared to 41% for Republican candidates.

That marked a slump in support from 2020 when Mr. Biden outperformed then-President Donald Trump 61% to 36% among that bracket of voters.

It was a similar slump from when Democrats flipped control of the House in the 2018 midterms, when 64% of voters between the ages of 18 and 29 rallied behind Democrats and 34% sided with the GOP.

Mr. Biden and the Democrats will be looking to revive the Obama coalition of minority, college-educated and young voters. Republicans will be looking to cut into the margin of victory among these slices of the electorate.

Mr. Biden has tried to energize these voters by offering a student-loan forgiveness program that is now tied up in the courts.

A December IBD/TIPP Poll showed adults from 18-44 disapprove of Mr. Biden‘s job performance by a 43%-40% margin. That represents a drop from November with a third of older Democrats.

The good news for Democrats is the survey showed that young voters turned out at higher levels in marquee races.

Voters under the age of 45 rallied behind Democrats at rates that eclipsed his 2020 support in the races this year for governor of Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Kansas.

They turned out en masse in the U.S. Senate race in Pennsylvania. Democrat John Fetterman won 62% of voters between 18 and 44 in his victory over Republican Mehmet Oz in their battle for the U.S. Senate.

Democrat Josh Shapiro, meanwhile, emerged victorious in the governor’s race after winning 64% of these young voters.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

• Seth McLaughlin can be reached at smclaughlin@washingtontimes.com.

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