Young Republicans rocked the vote

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Daniel Cole - FILE PHOTO
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  • Daniel Cole
Young Republicans showed up in higher percentages to the mayoral runoff than their Democratic or unaffiliated counterparts, El Paso County Republican Party executive director Daniel Cole points out.

In a letter to local Republicans, Cole notes that 21.9 percent of young Republican registered voters (ages 30 to 44, roughly) cast a ballot in May, compared to 18.6 percent of young Democrats and just 13.5 percent of unaffiliated young voters. John Suthers, the more conservative candidate, defeated Mary Lou Makepeace, 68 percent to 32 percent.

The Independent and the Colorado Springs Business Journal challenged young voters to "rock the vote"  in the election. The hope was that at least 20 percent of voters ages 30 to 44 would cast a ballot. Cole notes that 17.3 percent actually did — an improvement from 14.4 percent in the April city election.

Here's Cole's letter:

Dear Republicans:

Headquarters analyzed turnout in the May 19 Colorado Springs mayoral runoff. For most demographics, turnout mirrored the April 7 municipal election, but, if you read to the bottom of this email, you will find one noteworthy shift.

The short story is that the Republican Party again showed itself to be the party of civic engagement.

Overall turnout by party affiliation remained about the same as in the April 7 municipal election: the percentage of ballots cast by active Republicans decreased from 53% to 51.8% and by active Democrats from 23% to 22.5%, while the percentage cast by active Unaffiliateds and others increased from 24% to 25.7%.

As 39% of Colorado Springs voters are Republican and 23% Democrat, the average Republican was 36% more likely to vote in the mayoral runoff than the average Democrat.

The median age in the runoff, as in the April 7 election, was 60.

One demographic received a lot of media attention before the runoff: those roughly 30 - 44 years old, or born between 1971 and 1985 inclusive. The Colorado Springs Business Journal and the Colorado Springs Independent, lamenting that only 14.4% of active and inactive voters in that age range voted, challenged them to increase their turnout to 20%.

Their turnout did increase, but only to 17.3%. The good news is that Republican turnout is relatively high even among young voters: 18.6% of registered Democrats 30 - 44 years old voted, and 13.5% of Unaffiliateds and others, but 21.9% of Republicans.

If every young voter demonstrated the same civic engagement as young Republicans, the Colorado Springs Business Journal and the Colorado Springs Independent would have met their admirable goal.

Best,

Daniel Cole
Executive Director
El Paso County Republican Party

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