Election 2022: This is Gen Z’s Moment

There’s been a surge in youth voting since 2018, and if it continues it’s going to upend next week’s US election

Micah Sifry
4 min readOct 31, 2022


According to a new national poll from the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School, 40% of 18–29 year olds say they are definitely going to vote in the mid-terms. That is on track to match or maybe even surpass the record level of turnout from young people in 2018.

This, more than any other bit of political news I’ve seen in recent weeks, is a big deal.

Unlike other national surveys, the Harvard Public Opinion Project focuses solely on querying young voters, which means that it offers more precision about the way they are trending.

It should be obvious why this is important, but let me spell it out. In 2018, voter turnout among 18–29 year-olds rose dramatically from 20% four years early to 36%. That was the Trump effect at work. His polarizing brand of leadership didn’t just stir up his support base, it also mobilized millions of young people who were repelled by his politics as well.

Young voters tilt demonstrably toward the Democratic Party. According to the IOP poll, they want Democrats to stay in control of Congress by a nearly two-to-one margin, 57% to 31%. That preference has…