NextGen Virginia registered 20,000 young voters this fall. Now we’ll make them vote.
As of the voter registration deadline (Monday, 10/16) NextGen America’s Virginia organizing team registered 20,169 new young voters across the commonwealth this fall. Here’s why that number is important:
These new voters are likely to overwhelmingly support Ralph Northam and Democrats up and down the ticket. Young Virginians overwhelmingly supported Hillary Clinton, Mark Warner, and Terry McAuliffe in the last few election cycles. According to VPAP:
- College voters supported Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump 61% to 35% in 2016
- College voters supported Mark Warner over Ed Gillespie 51% to 43% in 2014
- College voters supported Terry McAuliffe over Ken Cuccinelli 57% to 34% in 2014
- Beyond just campuses, all millennial-dense precincts went 78% for Democrats compared to 15% for Republicans in 2016
In 2013, Terry McAuliffe beat Ken Cuccinelli by a mere 56,000 votes, making these 20,000 new young voters a sizeable chunk of the likely margin between a win and a loss statewide. Down-ticket, these marginal increases of progressive voters will have major repercussions on competitive House of Delegates races (some of which, in 2015, were decided by only a couple hundred votes), such as:
- HD12: 1,574 new voters at Radford University + 3,530 new voters at Virginia Tech
- HD68: 416 new voters at the University of Richmond
- HD28: 417 new voters at the University of Mary Washington
Beyond just voter registration, NextGen has gathered 8,837 commitments to vote from young Virginians who were already registered. Over the next 3 weeks, NextGen Virginia organizers will be following up with all new registrants plus young voters who have committed to vote, encouraging them to make plans to vote and giving out voter guides that contrast candidates’ stances on the issues that matter most to young Virginians.
We have had 515 different young Virginians volunteer their time thus far on the campaign, in addition to our 16 full-time field organizers and 43 deputy campus organizers. Our student get out the vote efforts will be the largest in Virginia history.
1,103 young Virginians have told NextGen organizers what issues matter most to them when they are committing to vote. The most popular reasons:
- 19% of voters say they’re motivated to vote because of Donald Trump’s actions as President
- 15% are worried about rising college costs
- 13% are worried about climate change and fossil fuels’ impact on Virginia
- 9% are concerned about immigration.
- 9% are worried about other state or local issues.
NextGen’s $2 million young voter program in Virginia is targeting hundreds of thousands of young Virginians across the commonwealth through face-to-face conversations, targeted mail and digital advertisements, and peer-to-peer text messages. This lays the groundwork for continued organizing in 2018 around competitive congressional and Senate races.