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Youth vote could play critical role in 2020 election, experts say

Posted at 2:49 PM, Jun 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-26 18:16:13-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — It's still early, but young voters appear to be energized and more of them plan to vote in the primaries than four years ago.

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According to a Harvard University Institute of Politics poll, the youth vote should play an even more important role in 2020.

Scott Holtz, a 35-year-old member of the Palm Beach County Democratic Executive Committee, noted the importance of the youth voter. He pointed to an increase in young voter turnout during the 2018 midterm elections.

"Youth turnout will be a huge factor in this election, particularly in Florida where the youth vote has tended to underperform compared to older people in the state," Holtz said.

Experts said a generational divide between young voters and baby boomers as a driving force to the polls.

"They feel like the system is stacked against them largely, and that they are set up to fail, compared to previous generations, like the baby boomers," said Holtz.

29-year-old Caroline Melear is the new president of the Palm Beach County Young Republicans. The group is made up of 18 to 40-year-olds. Part of her mission is to urge civil discourse in the President Trump era.

"He brings out either enthusiastic or not so enthusiastic emotions in people and it's brought politics a lot more into the mainstream," said Melear.

Although the focus this week is on the candidates vying for the Democratic presidential nomination, Melear said young Republicans are gathering as well.

"You see more left-leaning views infiltrating so much of society and college and schools," Melear said. "People are fighting back against that."