Young voters are interested and engaged, and they may finally assert their power in the fall election, according to a new poll released Tuesday that finds youth activism at record highs.
And that looks like good news for Democrats, particularly former Vice President Joe Biden, who now holds a 34-point lead over President Trump among younger voters, according to researchers at Tufts University focused on politics and young adults. By comparison, Hillary Clinton held an 18-point margin over Trump when Tufts took a similar poll during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The results are significant because early expectations of a heavy turnout by young voters in prior elections haven't regularly materialized.
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How did American democracy get so broken and what are the paths forward to fix it?
These complex questions are explored with levity and clarity in a new nonfiction graphic novel. In "Unrig: How to Fix Our Broken Democracy," the campaign finance reform advocate Daniel Newman dives into gerrymandering, money in politics, voting rights and more — all through comics illustrated by author and illustrator George O'Connor.
Having worked in the democracy reform space for the better part of two decades, Newman says he saw a critical need for material that explained the issues plaguing American politics, while also providing optimism and inspiration for making the system work better. Sales of the books, which start next week, will suggest whether he was right.
Chapter 3: Political Money
The House has voted for the first time to rectify one of the most counterintuitive quirks of American democracy:
People living in the national capital have less of a voice in the national government than all the rest of the nation — consigned to the same second-class status, taxation without representation, which sparked the Revolution that created the country.
Legislation to change that, by making the District of Columbia the 51st state, was approved 232-180 on Friday, the only passage of such a statehood measure by either chamber in the history of Congress.
But the almost purely party-line tally in the Democratic House will be the proposal's symbolically resonant high-water mark, at least for the year. That's because the Republican Senate had made plain it has zero interest in the measure, even before President Trump made explicit this week that he would veto it.
In the somewhat fractured democracy reform movement, Jenna Spinelle is doing her part to bring some cohesion. She has developed The Democracy Group, a network of 11 podcasts focused on improving the American political system and increasing civic engagement. (The Fulcrum has recently agreed to feature some of the network's programs on our site, and the first will appear soon.) Spinelle — who hosts one of the podcasts, "Democracy Works" — has lived in central Pennsylvania for most of the past two decades and has worked at Penn State since graduating in 2008. She now teaches journalism and works on external communications for the university's McCourtney Institute for Democracy, where the podcast network is housed. Her answers have been edited for clarity and length.
What's the tweet-length description of your organization?
A network of podcasts about democracy, civic engagement and civil discourse.
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