NextGen PAC mobilized thousands of young voters to elect progressive candidates
Philadelphia, PA — Today, NextGen PAC is celebrating the youth-driven victory of John Fetterman for U.S. Senate, Josh Shapiro for Governor, Austin Davis for Lt. Governor, and Matt Cartwright, Summer Lee, and Chris Deluzio for U.S. House. Ahead of the November election, NextGen PAC leveraged its grassroots organizing infrastructure in Pennsylvania and mobilized thousands of young voters to defeat their Republican challengers. It is clear that without the support of young voters, Democrats would have experienced severe losses in Pennsylvania. NextGen PAC’s program was the largest nationwide youth voting initiative to mobilize this critical voting bloc.
NextGen has been organizing in Pennsylvania since the 2016 election. During this election cycle alone, we contacted over 2.1 million young eligible voters in the state through in-person events, texts, and calls, representing 9 out of 10 registered young voters in Pennsylvania. These touchpoints were crucial to John Fetterman’s historic victory and secured victories down ballot for Democrats in the state.
Young people fought tirelessly to power Fetterman to victory. Throughout the tight race, young voters stepped up to hold Republican candidate Mehmet Oz accountable for his dangerous position on abortion rights, economic and climate justice, LGBTQ equality, and immigrant rights. Moving forward, it’s evident that young Pennsylvanians will continue to fight against extremist MAGA Republicans and demand an inclusive vision of the future. Our youth movement delivered this historic victory.
“Up and down the ballot, young Pennsylvanians showed up and turned out for progressive candidates like never before this election,” NextGen PAC President and Executive Director Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez said. “Senator-Elect Fetterman is a true youth-vote candidate, and NextGen could not be more excited to celebrate his victory. Young people believe in a future that is more equitable, more just, and more inclusive, and they voted for candidates like Fettermen and Shapiro who promised to uphold these beliefs and create a better Pennsylvania for all.”
Early reporting from the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) shows that in the Pennsylvania Senate race, where progressive Democrat John Fetterman won by a slim margin, youth ages 18-29 preferred Fetterman by 70%, with voters over 45 preferring Republican candidate Dr. Oz. It is clear that young Pennsylvanians 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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvanians 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.