There has been much discussion as to whether it was the youth vote that ultimately passed Prop 30, the governor’s tax initiative. Prop 30 had done marginally in the pre-election polls and appeared to be slipping. Yet it ultimately passed with 54% of the vote. So did this result stem from a surge in youth voters?
It appears that the answer is yes and no. The Field Poll now reports that it underestimated the youth vote when it made its calculation of likely voters. Pollsters routinely adjust their samples to try and get at who will actually show up on Election Day. Field did not anticipate a late surge of youth voters. But in examining the impact of such voters, it appears that Prop 30 would have passed without the youth surge, albeit by a narrower margin.
An analysis appears in the Sacramento Bee‘s Capitol Alert blog:
Young voters certainly disproportionately favored Prop 30. But it was older voters who were young at heart that passed it: