PEW credits youth as major factor in Obama win

Our CIM colleague Mike Connery offers a fascinating look at the youth vote at his blog Future Majority.

The verdict from PEW, which is working off of the exit polling data:

Without a doubt, the overwhelming backing of younger voters was a critical factor in Obama’s victory, according to an analysis of National Election Pool exit polls that were provided by National Public Radio. Obama drew two-thirds (66%) of the vote among those younger than age 30. This age group was Kerry’s strongest four years ago, but he drew a much narrower 54% majority.

Taking our own look at the exit poll data, here’s how the youth vote broke down within various racial demographics:

The margins among black and latino youth are enormous and I’m eager to see what the turnout was for those groups when we get more data. At the moment, though, the breakdown of white youth is most interesting to me. In 2004, Kerry lost white youth to President Bush 58 – 40%. On Tuesday, Obama gained 14 points on Kerry’s support among white youth, while McCain lost 14 on Bush’s support. White youth still make up a majority of young voters (though that is quickly changing) and that is an enormous amount of votes.

For more of Mike’s analysis on the youth vote effect, check out Future