New Article: Gen Z’s political power: new data gives insight into America’s youngest voters

Posted by National Public Radio on February 14, 2023

For 19-year-old Jenna Ruiz, voting for the first time was a thrill.

“My group of friends and I were really excited,” Ruiz said, a sophomore at Miami Dade College who serves as student government president.

Ruiz and her friends are just a few of the millions of young Americans newly eligible to vote in the 2022 midterms.

Still, that excitement didn’t smooth over some of the uncertainty Ruiz experienced when it came time to actually cast her ballot.

“I felt, I’m not going to lie, a little bit lost on some of the things that were on the ballot,” Ruiz told NPR. She said she was mostly motivated to vote because she disagreed with the conservative social policies of Florida’s current Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who ended up winning reelection.

“I do identify more towards the Democratic Party, but I still felt like I didn’t really know everything that was on the ballot,” Ruiz added. “I just was excited to vote.”

Ruiz is part of Generation Z, which is still just getting its feet wet in politics, since the oldest members of the generation turn 26 this year. Along with millennials, Gen Zers turned out in historically high numbers for a midterm election, second only to the 2018 election.

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