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Young voters are less and less likely to identify as a Dem. It means trouble for Biden.

The last three cycles saw historic levels of youth turnout, and the cohort is as progressive as ever, but if those voters stay home in 2024 as a result of these attitudinal changes, Della Volpe said, it could doom the acting president and the Democrats.

“I feel it’s a responsibility to sound this alarm now, when there’s time to do something about it,” said Della Volpe, director of polling at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Institute of Politics. “These voters need to buy into the values ​​of the party and the candidates … and appreciate the fact that politics can make a difference. You can’t do that in a week-long ad buy after Labor Day.” .

The world Biden insists he does not take young people for granted. One of Della Volpe’s former students, Richard Sweeney, was recently hired by top Biden aides as a White House policy analyst with a special focus on youth. Sweeney will meet with young advocates and work across departments (the Office of Public Engagement, the Office of Policy Strategy and Outreach, Digital and Communications) to reach young people on priorities such as climate, LGBTQ issues and rights to abortion, according to a White House official. said

And Christian Tom, who until last August worked under former director of the Office of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty, just returned to the White House last week to lead that operation and find new ways to engage with young people

Yes, that will mean more White House celebrity sightings like BTS and Olivia Rodrigo. But Tom’s office is working closely with senior advisers who monitor focus group research to make sure they are hitting key policy issues. His team is also rolling out a rapid response strategy that relies on his network of social media influencers.

After the Supreme Court’s student loan decision came down last month, senior White House officials held a Zoom call with a couple of dozen influencers who synthesized information from their respective accounts, generating around 6 million views on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter, according to a report. White House official. One user, Vivian, a former Wall Street trader aka @yourrichbff, has posted a video breaking the decision, and this week he posted another one featured tiktok what comes next

On the campaign side, Flaherty will join the re-elect in a senior role, where he will be involved in digital strategy, though his official title and start date have not been announced.

Biden’s team will also lean on young replacements like “Tennessee Three” Rep. Justin Jones, 27, who was expelled by Republicans after protesting in support of gun restrictions, and Rep. Maxwell Frost ( D-Fla.), a 26-year-old. former member of the president’s national advisory council.

“Youth participation is something we should never think is in the bag. This increase that we’ve seen since 2018, while it’s really been sustained over the last three cycles, it’s also very new,” Frost told West Wing Playbook.

Messages on Biden’s record are part of it, but surrogates will also take advantage of opposition to Donald Trump and a rollback of entitlements. Finding new ways to do that is vital, Frost said.

A video of Frost on stage in Washington with Paramore and his F-bomb Ron Desantis it went viral last monthbut a bigger impact came the following week when the band let Frost’s team create one table at its fair in Orlando and collecting signatures to get an abortion constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot in 2024. They got about 1,800 signatures on the site in just a few hours.

For its part, the DNC is training young voters on how to mobilize on college campuses, working with gun violence prevention groups and providing resources to help those voters get jobs in Democratic politics.

The DNC will also leverage partnerships with youth voter groups such as NextGen America, the nation’s largest youth voter operation. The organization plans to spend tens of millions to get Biden re-elected, said its president, Cristina Tzintzún Ramírez.

“No candidate can win on the youth vote alone,” he said, “but I can promise you that if a Democrat doesn’t have the youth vote, he’s going to lose.”


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