https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/3721473-more-young-voters-headed-to-the-pa-polls-early-in-2022-than-in-2018/

Tens of thousands more young voters in Pennsylvania are voting early this year compared to the 2018 midterm elections, according to an online tracker of early voting. 

TargetEarly, a dashboard for the Democratic political data and data services firm TargetSmart, found that more than 80,000 Pennsylvanians aged 18 to 29 have voted early so far in the state’s midterm elections. Only about 28,500 did so in 2018. 

Midterm election years typically see significantly lower turnout than presidential election years, but several states across the country have seen record early voting turnout this year. More than 30 million early votes had already been cast nationwide as of Thursday, according to a comprehensive voting tracker. 

TargetEarly’s numbers show young Democrats make up an even larger share of the early vote in Pennsylvania than they did in 2018 and 2020. Democrats are much more likely to vote early, while Republicans more commonly vote on Election Day. 

Democrats make up more than 80 percent of voters aged 18 to 29 who have voted so far in Pennsylvania, while Republicans make up about 15 percent and unaffiliated voters make up about 5 percent. 

Democrats only made up about 60 percent of that age group’s early vote in 2018 and 70 percent of it in 2020. 

Major contests are happening in Pennsylvania over the race for governor and an open Senate seat. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) is running against state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R) for governor, while Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) faces Republican Mehmet Oz for the Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R). 

Polls have shown Shapiro with comfortable leads over Mastriano, but Fetterman and Oz appear to be locked in a tight race, with polls showing neither candidate ahead by more than a couple points. 

Fetterman led throughout most of the general election campaign, but Oz has closed the gap in recent weeks. 

The Senate race could determine which party will control the body after the midterms. Encouraging younger voters to turn out will be key to Democrats’ chances of winning in Pennsylvania and across the country. 

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