EDITORIAL: Use your votes; raise your voice

State Hornet Staff

During this election cycle, there was a question whether the youth vote in America would come out like they did in 2008 in support of Obama. One of the main reasons Obama came out on top was because of the huge push he got from people aged 18 – 29. Obama garnered 66 percent of the youth vote, while McCain received 32 percent.

Pundits pondered this for months because it wasn’t guaranteed Obama would get the huge youth vote again. In his first term, he attempted to do good things for America, like implementing Obamacare and bailing out the auto industry. He also did not commit to some things, like pulling American troops out of the Middle East like he said he would.

However, according to a Pew Research poll, Obama gathered another huge win with the youth vote. It wasn’t as high as his 2008 vote, but Obama still received 60 percent of the youth vote compared with 36 percent for Romney.

The pew research poll also shows even though Obama lost some young white voters to Romney, he still held a commanding lead among non-white voters.

In the 2008 election, Obama had 54 percent of the white vote compared to 44 percent for McCain. In this election, Obama only received 44 percent to Romney’s 51 percent. For young black voters, Obama maintained 90 percent of the vote this election and only lost two points with Hispanic voters gathering 74 percent of the young Hispanic vote.

This means your vote – the youth vote – still matters. If it wasn’t for the youth voters coming out, this election could have been very different – we may have even had a different president.

In four key battleground states – Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia – the youth vote seems to have been the deciding factor in Obama’s victory. According to the Pew research poll, Romney got more votes among voters 30 years of age and older in those four states. Winning by one percentage point in Virginia and Pennsylvania, two points in Ohio and five points in Florida.

However, Obama overwhelmingly won the youth vote in each state by almost 30 points each. The votes from the age 18 to 30 demographic were enough to tip the scales in Obama’s favor for the win.

This is a great example as to why voting is important and why we as young voters should vote. In an election race that was very tight, the youth vote was the deciding factor. In this election, the youth vote accounted for 18 percent of the total electorate. So when the vote becomes as close as two or three percentage points, that 18 percent is magnified.

Now, it’s safe to assume California’s youth vote didn’t have much of a say in the presidential election. But it did matter in the passing of Prop. 30.

Prop. 30 passed with a 55 percent win. That winning margin can be linked to strong support shown by the 18 – 29 voter range who accounted for 28 percent of the vote and packed the eventual win.

Even though we are college students, if it wasn’t for our vote, Prop. 30 may not have passed. It was our voice that pushed Prop. 30 in the winning ranks to show California we are a strong demographic.

The candidates and the propositions change, but the one thing that will remain is the youth vote. We as young voters need to continue to show we care and understand the value of our vote and our voice.

If not, the world may be a different place – and not for the better.