Motivation Builds Student Voters, Who Broaden Culture: Assessing the Impact of Increased 2018 Youth Voting Across Tennessee

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Newman, Vada
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
The 2018 midterm election marked a turning point in student voter participation nationwide and in Tennessee. Civic engagement organizations, advocating for civic learning as integral to university curricula, contributed educational programming and motivational resources to college campuses to teach for citizenship. Nationally, student voters turned out in unprecedented numbers, which contributed to a congressional power shift in the U.S. House of Representatives. Younger voters were part of a “blue wave” that swept much of the country. Tennessee also experienced a marked increase in students participating in voting in 2018, yet in contrast to the national progressive trend, Tennesseans elected conservatives by landslides, in which outcome the state’s youngest voters actively participated. However, Tennessee’s conservative student voters, even though adhering to the party politics of their parents, are progressive by many measures. What will shifting values and broadening culture mean for the future of southern politics?
Liberal Arts, Tennessee, Southern voting, student voting, voting demographics, party politics