Obama's Youth Mandate Far Greater Than JFK's

His lead with under-30s is biggest in 'modern American history'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2008 9:42 AM CST
Obama's Youth Mandate Far Greater Than JFK's
In this Nov. 4, 2008 file photo, young supporters of Barack Obama voice their support for him early on election day in New York.    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Barack Obama enters office with the biggest youth mandate in modern political history, Politico reports. He outpolled John McCain by 34 points—66% to 32%—among voters younger than 30. That's four times the margin that led John F. Kennedy to say, “The torch has been passed to a new generation.” It's the first time youths have voted so differently from their elders in postwar America.

A few other figures:

  • Obama was the first Democrat to break 45% among young whites in 3 decades, with 54%.
  • The youth vote made up 18% of the electorate in ’08, one point higher than the past three elections.
  • About 53% of eligible youths voted, the highest since 1992.
  • At 76%, Obama’s success with young Hispanics was 14 points higher than Kerry's in 2004.
  • Obama took half of young working-class white men, 10 points ahead of any Democrat since the Reagan years.
(Read more Election 2008 stories.)

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