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Op-Ed

Young Not Stupid: There's 1 Little Statistic from the Virginia Election That Should Terrify Democrats

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The following is an installment in a weekly series of commentary articles by Cameron Arcand, host of the Young Not Stupid interview series and a contributor to The Western Journal.

Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin continues to dominate the headlines following his victory on Tuesday night, and it looks like young voters may have helped him win the competitive race against Democrat Terry McAuliffe.

A CNN exit poll with 3,899 respondents showed 45 percent support for Youngkin among 18- to 29-year-olds, and 53 percent for McAuliffe.

Although Youngkin did not win the demographic, it is significant for a Republican candidate to have so much success in that age group, which tends to overwhelmingly favor Democrats.

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Youngkin’s popularity among Gen Zers and younger millennials is a major development following the 2020 general election.

According to another CNN exit poll with 4,810 respondents, President Joe Biden won 62 percent of young Virginia voters last year.

Here’s the deal: Republicans should not expect to prevail among young people any time soon. That is simply a truism of American politics.

However, Democrats should be incredibly worried about losing ground to Republicans — and about Gen Zers not voting whatsoever.

According to NBC, turnout among voters under 30 plummeted 62 percent in Virginia this year, and 48 percent in the California recall election.

It’s easy to point out that these elections both took place in an off-year, so young people were probably more disengaged than usual. But the problem runs deeper than that.

Strategists need to understand that young Americans are predisposed to nihilism, which makes it difficult for them to care enough to get involved in the political process.

As Gen Zers have grown up inundated with politics on social media and even Netflix, most are looking to vote for people they won’t constantly be hearing about in the news cycle.

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On the flip side, many young leftists are not interested in supporting Democratic candidates. This likely hurt McAuliffe, who had to rely on moderate suburban voters in order to remain competitive with Youngkin.

Democrats are finding themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place going into 2022 as they trying to retain the independents who voted for them in 2020 while also appealing to the far left.

If young progressives continue to stay home as a way to raise a metaphorical middle finger to “the system,” Republicans will have the upper hand.

Still, conservative candidates need to make an earnest effort to reach young voters, as they could be cultivating a long-term Republican base in the post-Trump era.

2022 is already looking like a losing battle for Democrats, and their growing issues with Gen Zers are salt in the wound.

The views expressed in this opinion article are those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by the owners of this website. If you are interested in contributing an Op-Ed to The Western Journal, you can learn about our submission guidelines and process here.

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Cameron Arcand is a former writer for The Western Journal.
Cameron Arcand is a political commentator based in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2017 as a school project, he founded YoungNotStupid.com, which has grown exponentially since its founding. He has interviewed several notable conservative figures, including Dave Rubin, Peggy Grande and Madison Cawthorn.

In September 2020, Cameron joined The Western Journal as a Commentary Writer, where he has written articles on topics ranging from the COVID-19 pandemic, the "Recall Gavin Newsom" effort and the 2020 election aftermath. The "Young Not Stupid" column launched at The Western Journal in January 2021, making Cameron one of the youngest columnists for a national news outlet in the United States. He has appeared on One America News and Fox 5 DC. He has been a Young America's Foundation member since 2019.
Location
Phoenix
Languages Spoken
English




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