Iowa Republicans, Democrats turning to younger voters for upcoming elections

Published: May. 2, 2021 at 7:37 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Once a purple state, Iowa is now solidly Republican. Republicans control all branches of state government. All but one of Iowa’s Congressional delegations is Republican. Yet Democrats hope is younger people. That’s an age group they won in the 2020 election. A new group of Eastern Iowa Republicans is pushing to sway younger voters.

It’s called Eastern Iowa Young Republicans. Chair Victoria Freese says they already have more than 30 members since it launched last month.

“I think it’s just making sure that young Republicans for sure get out and be heard, and say what they believe,” said Freese. “Young people don’t want to get attacked, they don’t want to get attacked on social media. Our chapter, Eastern Iowa Young Republicans Chapter provides that space.”

The group is a branch of Iowa Young Republicans. Freese says there are more young Republican groups popping up across Iowa. They want younger conservatives engaged at the state and local levels.

“Really trying to help our local and state levels to do some of their campaigning,” she said.

Iowa Democrats have their own youth outreach effort. As Democrats lick their wounds from the 2020 election, it’s that excitement in younger voters that gives them hope.

“Even among my friends, the ones who are not super political, they still care about certain issues,” said Tanner Halleran with the Iowa Democratic Party. “It’s driving them to become engaged in the process”

University of Iowa Professor Tim Hagle says younger people tend to lean left, but there are a lot of voters with no party affiliations.

“Sort of the environment of in which they’re coming up,” said Hagle of younger voters. “Whether it’s the high school or particular the college area where they’re basically exposed to the liberal ideology.”

Halleran says winning over that group and keeping them takes effort.

“It’s getting them organized,” he said. “Getting them registered to vote, and to turn out and vote.”

Efforts both Democrats and Republicans are putting in with an eye to 2024.

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