Chart of the Day: The Kids Are Finally Turning Out

According to a quickie analysis from the folks at CIRCLE, youth turnout was pretty ho-hum in New Jersey but through the roof in Virginia: up from 26 percent in 2013 to 34 percent in 2017. And young people voted massively in favor of the Democrat:

If this is correct, it’s big news. I mean, even if you buy the idea that kids just didn’t like Hillary Clinton much, it’s pretty startling that they’d vote for Ralph Northam in such wildly bigger numbers. Northam isn’t exactly Bernie Sanders, after all.

The most obvious explanation is that (a) Trump’s victory galvanized them and (b) the racial crap at the end of the Virginia campaign really pissed them off. What’s more, Virginia was expected to be a close race. New Jersey wasn’t, so turnout stayed about the same as in the past.

This is all guesswork at the moment, and might change when we get more solid numbers. But along with reports that minority turnout was also up in Virginia—which powered a huge Democratic shift in the state legislature that nobody predicted—it provides some hope for 2018 and 2020. If Donald Trump has finally provided the magic formula for motivating Democratic constituencies to vote in midterm elections, the Trumpublican era may turn out to be a blessedly short one.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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