Thursday at a conference in which presidential campaign aides vented about the election, a Hillary Clinton manager produced one of the hottest takes of post-election season yet, saying the Democratic candidate lost to Donald Trump because she didn’t get enough youth voters. The manager, Robby Mook, blamed the millennials not for turnout but for migrating to third party candidates late in the race when polls showed Hillary with a comfortable lead, i.e. toward Jill Stein.
In Pennsylvania, we’re not done with Stein news. She’s still fighting the PA election results with a recount she’s keeping alive by filing in federal court after her state lawsuit was withdrawn because of her unwillingness to pay a $1 million bond.
Simple math shows the recount she wants would already be happening if Pennsylvania’s 49,000 Stein voters would have voted for Clinton (Trump’s margin of victory is 46,000 and a 3,000 vote victory for Clinton would have triggered an automatic recount because the margin would’ve been under .5 percent). There’s plenty of evidence, as Mook suggested, young voters didn’t do enough to back Clinton in PA. She won the under-30 set by a margin of nine points, according to exit polling. That’s well under Barack Obama’s under-30 victory margin of 28 points in 2012.
Was that also the case in Philadelphia? The City Commissioners have yet to release breakdowns of votes by age groups, but Stein definitely got outsized support in Philly’s most popular millennial neighborhoods, taking away votes that most likely would’ve gone to Clinton. We’re talking about Fishtown, East Passyunk and Cedar Park, as well as the areas surrounding Drexel and Temple.
In Philadelphia, her total of the votes was .94 percent, not much higher than her statewide total of .82 percent. She got 6,679 votes in the city as a whole. But in those popular millennial neighborhoods Stein got at least 1.59 percent of the vote. In the 31st Ward, which is comprised of Fishtown north of Norris Street and some of Port Richmond/Kensington, she got 2.28 percent. Stein got 1.86 percent in the lower part of Fishtown.
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These neighborhoods where Stein performed about twice as well as her city average were often the same neighborhoods that preferred Bernie Sanders in the spring. Sanders won both the 18th and 31st wards in Fishtown in the April Primary, as well as the 1st ward in East Passyunk/Pennsport, and he nearly got a majority in the other wards with high Stein totals in Cedar Park and the Drexel/Temple areas.
So you might be asking, how do we know it was the millennials ? We don’t for sure, but the wards in these neighborhoods don’t just have a high concentration of young people. They also have a high concentration of young active voters. A study by City Commissioner Al Schmidt’s office in the spring showed millennials made up at least 36 percent of voters in the wards where Stein was most popular and as high as 60 percent. Not only that, these wards features young people who actually turn out to vote. The turnout percentages for young people in the wards of Fishtown, East Passyunk/Pennsport and Cedar Park are among the highest in the city.
So, yes, let’s get it all out there: Go ahead and lump the Philadelphia millennials into the blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss.