3. Millennials are souring on Democrats.
The Virginia exit poll showed voters ages 18 to 29 favoring McAuliffe over Cuccinelli by a 45 percent to 40 percent margin. The Rock the Vote folks sent out an email crowing about this, but put in context, it’s a dismal result.
The 30-to-44-year-olds were much more strongly for McAuliffe (56 percent to 37 percent), providing some evidence for Guardian blogger Harry Enten’s analysis showing that young people just entering the electorate are less liberal than those who did so in 2008. In comparison, the 2012 presidential exit poll showed Obama leading Romney 61 percent to 36 percent among that age group in Virginia–statistically indistinguishable from Obama’s 60 percent to 37 percent margin among 18-to-29-year-olds nationally, which was down from 66 percent to 32 percent in 2008.
Moreover, in New Jersey, the exit poll showed Republican Chris Christie losing 18-to-29-year-olds to Democrat Barbara Buono by only 51 percent to 49 percent. Christie was up 13 percent among this age group compared with his 2009 showing.