In American politics, the most engaged voters are generally the ones that vote in primaries, the elections that choose who goes on the ballot in the general election.

Polling shows Democrats won about 65% of voters under 30. In states where such information on voters by age is available, how many voters under 30 voted in each primary in 2022?

Notes: this information can only be found in states with partisan primaries (which is most states). This means many states, including California and Louisiana, do not have such data. A "voter under 30" is defined relative to the primary Election Day in each state. This may be a hard to answer question given how different states have different voter files. One or two states could be good enough.

I would imagine this to be a very Democratic leaning group because it seems young Democats have higher turnout (Democrats did better with young voters in 2022 than 2020). I also imagine this will be a relatively exclusive group given young voter turnout changes disproportionately relative to the rest of other voters. I am asking specifically about under 30 because I'm curious if younger Democratic voters have higher turnout in a low-turnout environment where partisanship is often by definition measured and recorded (though the candidates voted for within the party are not).

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    It is, of course, well known that voters under age 30 have lower turnout overall. The general election data is easily available from exit polls (although not necessarily at a state by state level in all cases). Voter registration may be an alternative to primary turnout that is easier to determine in many cases.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 9, 2023 at 20:42
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    “If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” Whether that's true or not is irrelevant. That both parties appear to believe this trite and possibly untrue saying is true is relevant. Jan 9, 2023 at 20:47
  • The reason I am looking for primary turnout is primaries are significantly lower turnout. Also, that saying about age is actually being proven wrong as millennials turn 40 and still have left-wing tendencies. It really seems to be driven by year of birth nowadays not years of age. Jan 9, 2023 at 21:40
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    I get the reasoning for wanting it. But exit polling is much more rare in primaries (especially in off year elections) and turning actually turnout data into age bins is likewise hard and only even possible in some jurisdictions. In most cases you'd have to come up with a reasonable way to make an estimate or use more general national survey data.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 9, 2023 at 21:48
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    @Numberfile the original quote (Winston Churchill I think) was about British politics circa WWII and didn't include numbers (just "young" and "old"). So the version that is "proven wrong" is a misquote anyway.
    – uberhaxed
    Jan 10, 2023 at 19:49

1 Answer 1


According to day-after estimates from the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at Tufts University’s Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life, 27% of young people (ages 18-29) turned out to vote in the 2022 midterm election and helped decide critical races, wielding the growing power of a generation that is increasingly engaged even as many remain disillusioned about U.S. politics. (source link)

  • Related to OP's comment on their question, ages 18-29 in November 2022 (year of birth roughly 1993-2004) is mostly Gen Z; millennials (1981-1996) were mostly ages 26-41 in November 2022.
    – shoover
    Jan 9, 2023 at 22:55
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    This was not my question Jan 10, 2023 at 10:43
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    You want data that doesn't seem to exist, I got you the closest thing.
    – Brian Z
    Jan 10, 2023 at 12:54

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