NextGen PAC mobilized thousands of young voters to elect progressive candidates
Phoenix, AZ — Today, NextGen PAC is celebrating the youth-driven victory of Mark Kelly for U.S. Senate, Katie Hobbs for Governor, and Adrian Fontes for Secretary of State. Ahead of the November election, NextGen PAC leveraged its grassroots organizing infrastructure in Arizona and mobilized thousands of young voters to defeat Republican challengers Blake Masters, Kari Lake, and Mark Finchem. It is clear that without the support of young voters, Democrats would have experienced severe losses in Arizona. NextGen PAC’s program was the largest nationwide youth voting initiative to mobilize this critical voting bloc.
Young people fought tirelessly to power Kelly and Hobbs to victory. Throughout the tight race, young voters stepped up to hold Republican candidates Blake Masters and Kari Lake accountable for their dangerous position on abortion rights, voting rights, economic and climate justice, LGBTQ equality, and immigrant rights. Moving forward, it’s evident that young Arizonans will continue to fight against extremist MAGA Republicans and demand an inclusive vision of the future. NextGen’s youth movement delivered this historic victory.
“Young people in Arizona are progressive and powerful, and they showed up like never before this election cycle to defend our rights and our democracy,” NextGen PAC President and Executive Director Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez said. “Senator Mark Kelly and Governor-elect Katie Hobbs are committed to fighting for a better, more equitable Arizona and are dedicated to fighting for the rights of everyday people. So many critical issues were on the ballot this election, from abortion rights to voting rights, and young people delivered for progressives to protect these most basic freedoms.”
Early reporting from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) shows that in the Arizona Senate race, where progressive Democrat Mark Kelly won by a slim margin, youth ages 18-29 preferred Kelly by 76%. For the Governor’s race, young voters preferred Democrat Katie Hobbs by 71%. It is clear that young Arizona voters turned out and are changing the state’s political landscape and electorate. Without the support of young voters, Democrats would not be seeing massive gains across Arizona in both federal and state offices.
Nationally Youth Are the Only Age Group to Prefer Democrats
Youth are the only age group to prefer Democrats for House races. Edison Research National Election Pool exit polls show that young people are overwhelmingly progressive, and they show up for candidates who inspire them and share their values.
According to the Edison Research National Election Pool exit poll, the national youth vote choice for the U.S. House of Representatives was 63% for Democrats, 35% for Republicans. That’s almost identical to 2020, when youth preferred Democrats to Republicans by 62% to 36%. Youth ages 18-29 are the only age group to favor Democrats in this election. Voters ages 30-44 split their votes 49%-49% between Democrats and Republicans, while older voters favored the GOP.
Specifically, young voters of color showed up for Democrats. In all, 89% of Black youth and 68% of Latino youth voted for a Democratic House candidate. Among white youth, the vote was 58% for Democrats and 40% for Republicans.
Young voters ages 18-29 also prefer Democrats in Senate and Governor races. Based on data from states where exit polls were conducted, the youth vote choice and youth share of the vote also overwhelmingly broke for progressives. This surge in support for progressives is across NextGen PAC’s key battleground states, including Arizona, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Young Arizonans are stepping up to the plate to build the future that they can be proud of – one in which their elected leaders fight for a future that reflects and represents them. They know that voting is their power, and they seized the opportunity to channel it into change. NextGen is proud to have helped build a movement of young people that refuses to stand by as basic human rights, equality, and justice for all are deprioritized.
About NextGen PAC
NextGen PAC’s mission is to empower young voters to engage in elections and ensure our government is responsive to the largest and most diverse generation in American history. We invite 18-to-35 year olds into our democracy to ensure our government works for them and to find new solutions to the dire challenges facing our country. NextGen PAC fights for a progressive future by growing and wielding the grassroots political power of young people on the ground and online.