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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Stella: The youth vote won the election, saved democracy

Stella%3A+The+youth+vote+won+the+election%2C+saved+democracy

Collegian | Sophia Sirokman

Michael Stella, Staff Reporter

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

A red wave was all pundits talked about in regard to the 2022 midterms, but when the votes were counted, it turned out to be more like a red drop.

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The Democratic Party has many different voting blocs to be thankful for this post-election holiday season, but one they should be the most thankful for is the youth voters of America.

In a historic performance, Democrats held on to control of the United States Senate and only lost the House of Representatives by a slim majority in the 2022 midterm elections.

The party out of power (the party that does not occupy the White House) historically does better in midterms than the party in power. Especially given record-high inflation and President Joe Biden’s low approval ratings, it was expected Republicans would have done much better than they did in the 2022 midterms.

There are many demographics that created the winning coalition for Democrats, but one of the most crucial was America’s youngest voters: ages 18-29.

The youth vote in 2020 reached record levels; the youth vote was the second-highest turnout in nearly three decades.

Democrats enjoyed roughly 60% of youth voter support. Youth voters are the future of the United States, and given all that has happened in recent years, their vote cannot be underestimated.

As the percentage of Americans between the ages of 18-29 continues to grow, Democrats will rightfully enjoy better and better results in elections across America.

“Elections are not always about who won, but they are also about who lost.”

While Democrats are guaranteed to control the Senate, if Georgians choose Dec. 6 in the runoff election to keep Raphael Warnock in the United States Senate, Democrats will control 51 seats.

This means one member, such as Sen. Joe Manchin or Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, cannot dictate what the entire Democratic caucus wants to do like they have in the past.

The Georgia Senate runoff election is another chance for young Americans to deliver not only for their future but for the future of the United States.

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Since 2016, and even further back then that, it has felt like our national politics have left our generation behind.

Nearly every college student in America has been alive for the two worst economic crashes since the Great Depression. Climate change is ravaging our planet, our generation is in extreme student debt and we lost more socially and developmentally than most in the COVID-19 pandemic. Mass shootings are a phenomenon unique to our generation.

As young Americans, it can be hard to see hope for the future of our country given all that has occurred as of late, but our generation’s response at the ballot box on Nov. 8 should be the beginning of a new sense of American pride that builds off the defeat of Donald Trump in 2020.

If you are struggling to find hope for the future of America, look no further than the 2022 midterms. Young voters saved the Democratic Party, which in the past two years has fought vigorously to make life better for us.

Elections are not always about who won, but they are also about who lost.

There are two major parties in the United States. There is the party that legalized gay marriage. There is the party that has always defended the right to an abortion. There is the party fighting to end climate change and save our only planet.

Then there is the other party. The other party wants to ban abortions and roll back gay and interracial marriages. There is the party that will seemingly do nothing in the face of climate change. They also want to limit your ability to vote, especially given the turnout in recent elections.

A frightening reality of the 2022 midterms was the slate of secretary of state candidates running in battleground states. Each secretary of state is in charge of running elections, meaning if they were to win, the legitimacy of elections in certain states would be jeopardized.

To much avail, very few election deniers from 2020 won an election for secretary of state in any battleground state.

The 2022 midterms are proof that when young Americans vote, we can make a difference.

Reach Michael Stella at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @Michaelstella_.

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