Democrats in the United States have done better with young voters than in the past, and that gap appears to be widening. However, data suggests that some (though not all) of that gap is because of higher percentage of non-white young voters (non-white voters tend to lean Democratic overall). How much of this gap is caused by race?

I believe this question can be answered because there are polls on these issues. What I mean is in a statistical sense approximately what percentage of Democrats' advantage in terms of partisan voting is because of young voters being less white. In other words, how would young voters vote if race was the only factor that made young voters more Democratic and how far is that from overall votes versus actual young voters?

  • I'm not sure where you find your statistics, but most polling organizations will break down their answers based on demographic statistics in their findings pages (I.E. 76% of all Americans answered this question this way. Among this demographic, 52% said answered this way). Typically, the first demographic will be party affiliation, but age and race are usually broken down.
    – hszmv
    Mar 1 at 13:22
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    Possible sources for the 2022 House midterms: edition.cnn.com/election/2022/exit-polls/national-results/house (specifically the table "Age by race"), circle.tufts.edu/latest-research/…. I don't know how to translate this data into the sort of statistical model the question asks about, so I'll leave that to someone more qualified.
    – xyldke
    Mar 1 at 14:24
  • The "age by race" seems to be what I'm looking for. Mar 1 at 14:53
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    @xyldke The problem with the first link at least is that it presents the data with only a single significant figure, resulting in a lot of rounding artifacts that seriously complicate any actual understanding of the information. Complicated further by the fact that the "By Age and Race" includes an "All Others" entry that doesn't break down by age at all; and the rounding issues means we can't infer what the correct age breakdown is here. Mar 1 at 16:40
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    'If you are not a liberal when you are young, you have no heart, and If you are not a conservative when you are old, you have no brain', with lots of variants, in multiple languages. Mar 1 at 17:07

1 Answer 1


As a rule, young voters vote on idealism while older voters take a more cautious, world-weary approach. That leads to two observations:

  • In current US politics race is an issue that splits heavily on idealism: equal rights, equal treatment under the law, and equal opportunity vs. deep-seated racially-tinged fears, resentments, and social norms.
  • Republicans as a group have aligned heavily against racial idealism, opposing pro-minority social change even to the point of resurgent segregationism.

In fact, Republicans currently oppose anything that smacks of philosophical idealism, deriding it as 'communist', 'woke', or 'Liberal'. While some of the more far-right, white-nationalist elements of modern conservatism have tried to build a positive ideal around a defense of the nation's historical values — which draws in some youth, e.g. Carl Rittenhouse — the GOP as a party has merely adopted a world-weary, fear-driven, unromantic posture that has little appeal to the idealism of youth. Democrats (particularly under Obama) have made much more effort to reach for that visionary, utopian moment, so it's no wonder that they pick up the lion's share of young voters.

The current conservative approach to capturing the youth vote leans more towards content control than inspiration: think DeSantis and his attempts to censor textbooks, school programs, and public speech to prevent the dissemination of 'woke' ideology... But that only goes so far, preventing youth from hearing about these ideals without actually giving them new ideals to reach for. That kind of censorship is ultimately self-defeating unless paired with an active campaign of indoctrination, which hasn't yet manifested in the Right.

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    This reads more like a rant against conservatives then an attempt to answer the question asked. The question didn't ask why young voters or racial minorities might vote democratic, it asked about numbers and percentages of democratic voters. This is something that should be answered rigorously with polling data or similar studies. As it is this does absolutely nothing to answer the question of percentages.
    – dsollen
    Mar 1 at 15:55
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    My point is THAT WASN'T WHAT WAS ASKED What was asked was not why votes happened but what percentage of votes fall into this category. You have done nothing to answer the question asked; instead you went on to answer a tangentially related question. There is literally a question applicable to your answer right now on the list of recent questions, so why is this answer showing up here where it doesn't answer the OP question instead of where it would at least be relevant to question asked.
    – dsollen
    Mar 1 at 18:20
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    The question should be answered with statistics, not feelings. This percentage of XYZ ethnicity are bellow this age and vote for democrats, etc...
    – Questor
    Mar 2 at 23:53
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    I find the opposite is true, Democrats live in a fantasy paradise world where their privileged idealism trumps reality. They can afford reparations because they are rich so think everyone can too. They think minority groups are poor uneducated so want to give out handouts but not out of their own pockets. Recent Republicans want full equality under the law without paying for the sins of their fathers regardless of race/history, they search for root causes instead of bandaid handouts. Recent grassroots Republicans want to look forward together, not back at and against each other. Mar 3 at 6:03
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    @TedWrigley The answer includes "demographics" in its tag... demographic questions shouldn't be answered without statistics.. which requires data. If it is pedantic to expect scientific rigor instead of opinion. Then sure. I am pedantic. I agree with some of what you say, but you miss of course the democratic control over information to the youth (the majority of teachers are democrats, as are college professors... Which probably has a larger impact on the left leaning nature of the younger generation then your inane theories.
    – Questor
    Mar 3 at 17:06

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