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Enthusiasm for Clean Energy Translates to Votes
The final tally is in from Tufts University’s Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE). The youth voter turnout was even higher than we posted in yesterday’s blog: It increased by 3.3 million over 2004, making it the largest turnout among the Millennial generation (youth, ages 18-29) since 1972. Looking at vote percentages by age group in swing states, it is also apparent that youth helped determine the outcome in most of the states that hung in the balance.
At the same time, the Power Vote pledges are now up to almost 350,000– equalling about 1/10 ofthe increase in the youth voter turnout. The pledges are not the same as a vote, but they do indicate that the commitment to vote and to hold elected officials accountable for climate leadership, clean energy and green jobs contributed to the overall youth enthusiasm and engagement. The strong turnout at Powershift in fall 2007 and the Power Vote campaign in fall of 2008 signal that youth enthusiasm for clean energy translated to votes. Many wondered– some doubted– whether this would be the case and now we know, youth will vote when they have something and someone they can believe in to vote for.