A bigger generation than the Baby Boomers voting at this kind of spread for the Democrats is a political nightmare for the Republican Party. The lesson from political science is that early partisan affiliations tend to get locked in for life.
Specifically, the relative success or failure of the President before your first election as a voter has a big impact on your party ID. Young people voting for the first time in 1980 broke huge for Reagan because Carter was such a crap President, and that generation continues to lean more Republican. And so it will be with people who voted for Barack Obama for the first time after years of national embarrassment and mismanagement under Bush.
Young voters represented a greater share of the national electorate Tuesday than four years ago, once again voting for President Barack Obama by a huge margin, boosting his reelection.
Voters from ages 18 to 29 represented 19 percent of all those who voted on Tuesday, according to the early National Exit Poll conducted by Edison Research. That’s an increase of one percentage point from 2008. Obama captured 60 percent youth vote, compared with Mitt Romney’s 36 percent.