Millennials are now tied with boomers for largest voter group

25 Million Millennial Voters Will Be 'Enough To Sway Swing States'
25 Million Millennial Voters Will Be 'Enough To Sway Swing States'

Millennials have reached parity with baby boomers for the largest generation eligible to vote in the United States, a new report finds.

According to the Pew Research Center, boomers still marginally outnumber millennials, 69.7 million to 69.2 million, but the two groups are effectively now even, with millennials expected to grow, and boomers to expected to decline. The baby boomer voting-eligible population peaked in size at 72.9 million in 2004, and has been declining since.

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Pew has previously found that millennials are, overall, the largest generation in the United States, independent of voting purposes. They still lag far behind in actual voters, however. This is the result of dramatically lower registrations rates among younger voters compared to older voters, a phenomenon that matches historical American trends.

Pew defines millennials as those born anytime from 1981 to 1997, those ages 18-34 in the year 2015. The organization defines baby boomers as those born anytime from 1946 to 1964, or ages 51-70 in 2015.

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Pew estimates that millennial turnout in the 2012 presidential election was 46 percent, which was down from 2008 when more than half of eligible millennials voted. Boomer turnout, however, remained steady at 69 percent in both 2008 and 2012.

The other voting generations are the silent generation, also known as the oldest generation, Generation X, the generation that follows the baby boomers, and the Greatest Generation, whose numbers are now greatly diminished.

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Millennials were integral to Barack Obama's victorious coalitions in 2008 and 2012. Millennial participation steeply dropped off in 2010 and 2014, the midterm congressional races, where Obama's party first lost the House, and then lost the Senate. Obama has frequently urged young people to vote in more than just the presidential years. There are other indications, however, that millennials have begun to lean more Republican, a less guaranteed constituency for the Democrats.