Rock the Vote released a poll of 18-29 year olds today, and I joined in a conference call announcing the results. The horse-race numbers are unsurprising: Obama over McCain, 56%-29%; and Democratic over Republican in a generic Congressional ballot, 49%-27%.
The big question, however, is whether these youngsters will actually vote. In years past, I have never, ever, ever, signed onto the theory that they would. This year, I have. I believe they will turn out, not just in larger numbers, but as a higher percentage of the total electorate.
--My slacker generation is finally aging out of that cohort, and the so-called Millennials are aging in. These are a whole different breed of people who actually believe in participatory civic engagement. (Weirdos.) Most analysts begin the Millennial generation with those born in 1982; that would make roughly three-quarters of the 18-29 group true Millennials this November, compared with less than half in 2004.
--These Millennials, as I say, actually believe in this stuff. Here's a stunner (to me) from this poll: 76% strongly agree that "young people have the power to change things in this country." They are engaged and interested and fully expect to vote.