September 24, 2019

ALL THE BATTLEGROUNDS ARE RED:

Turnout among young Texas voters exploded in 2018. Groups want to make it even bigger in 2020. (ASHLEY LOPEZ, SEPT. 24, 2019, Texas Tribune)

Texas has one of the youngest populations in the country. In fact, only Utah, Alaska and the District of Columbia have younger populations - and not by much. It's projected that by 2022, one in three voters in Texas will be under 30.

"There is a lot of potential there," said Victoria DeFrancesco Soto, a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs. "Young folks don't tend to register, don't tend to vote at the same rates that older folks do."

A historically bad investment
Low turnout in years past has hampered big investments into young voters until somewhat recently.

Texas has one of the worst voter participation rates overall -- and youth voter turnout is particularly dire. In 2014, for example, just 8% of Texas youth turned out to vote. [...]

During the last election, turnout among Texas voters under 30 tripled compared to the previous midterm election.

"2018 reversed the trend that we'd been seeing in terms of decline in voter turnout among youth and among Latinos," DeFrancesco Soto said.

That change is also part of the reason the state experienced one of the closest statewide elections in decades, when Democratic Congressman Beto O'Rourke lost to incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz by less than 3 percentage points.

Martinez said that close election made it easier to raise money for efforts aimed at getting even more young people and people of color to vote.

Posted by at September 24, 2019 12:00 AM

  

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