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Reproduced from Center for American Progress; Chart: Axios Visuals. Note: Not all values add up to 100 due to rounding.

Young voters, projected to turn out overwhelmingly for Joe Biden, could provide a huge advantage for Democrats not just this for this election, but for decades to come.

Driving the news: Pollsters and political scientists have been poring over two new reports by the liberal Center for American Progress and the Harvard Institute of Politics this month that examine both the growing size and enthusiasm among the nation's youngest voters.

  • The Harvard poll finds that 63% of 18- to 29-year olds "definitely" plan to vote. Their enthusiasm for Biden grew even stronger since September.
  • The Center for American Progress' models forecast a huge advantage for Democrats in future elections, based on demographics and voting patterns of today’s youngest generations — even taking account of trends that show that Americans tend to become more conservative as they age.
  • Its models find an 8% to 18% advantage for Democrats in the popular vote by 2036. Electoral college models, which factor in changing state demographics of these young voters, look even more formidable for Republicans.

Millennials and Generation Z are much more liberal than their predecessors and voted for Democrats in previous election cycles. Voting research shows that the president you vote for as you come of age to vote often determines which party you'll stick with, too.

  • Millennials (born 1981 to 1996) and Generation Z (born 1997 onward) voters combined are estimated to represent 37% of eligible voters this year — larger than that of Baby Boomers (28%) and Generation X (24%).
  • By 2036, those two generations will make up 60% of the electorate.

What they're saying: “In the near term, the die is cast,” said Carroll Doherty, director of political research at Pew Research Center. “It’s obvious this is a generation, whether it be Millennials or Gen Z, this is clearly a Democratic generation and without a big change of heart they're going to remain so.”

  • Some Republicans agree: Young voters "will have voted for Democrats so repeatedly that it would be hard to shake them of that," Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson told Axios.
  • "I think with older Millennials, we’re seeing the fruits of that. Republicans have by and large lost a lot of the Millennials. They cannot also afford to lose all of Generation Z.”

Yes, but: The election-upending impact of younger voters has been predicted for decades and has yet to come to pass.

  • The authors of the Center for American Progress report warn that Democrats could fail to cultivate these younger voters even as Republicans shouldn't rely on these voters to turn more conservative as they age.
  • "[D]emographic, especially generational, change is likely to have profound effects on the competition between the parties in this decade and beyond. We cannot say which party will best handle these changes, only that they will have to do so."

William H. Frey, an author of the demographics report, stated in his report that the simulations he and his colleagues conducted aren’t predictions. The unknown is whether Democrats — in particular Biden and vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris — will continue to engage these youngest voters.

  • "If Biden wins, to what degree will he satisfy this group and cultivate this group? We've already seen that some of the polls show that Latinos are not as strong for him and younger people are not as strong for him as maybe for some other Democratic candidates," Frey told Axios.
  • "Can he, and especially Kamala Harris, do those kinds of things that will keep them energized. There's strong voting this time, but it's going to be largely against Trump ... it's not so much being energized by the Democrats."

The bottom line: Even if Trump pulls out a victory, the Republican Party's long game is in serious trouble.

Go deeper

The next big political war: redistricting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democrats are preparing a mix of tech and legal strategies to combat expected gerrymandering by Republicans, who are planning to go on legal offense themselves.

Why it matters: Democrats failed to regain a single state legislature on Election Day, while Republicans upped their control to 30 states' Houses and Senates. In the majority of states, legislatures draw new congressional district lines, which can boost a party's candidates for the next decade.

Sanders says Democrats will push coronavirus relief package through with simple majority

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) leaves the Senate floor on Jan. 1. Photo: Liz Lynch/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), incoming chair of the Senate Budget Committee who caucuses with the Democrats, told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that Democrats plan to push a coronavirus relief package through the chamber with a simple majority vote.

Why it matters: "Budget reconciliation" would allow Democrats to forgo the Senate's 60-vote requirement and could potentially speed-up the next relief package for millions of unemployed Americans. Democrats hold the the 50-50 split in the Senate with Vice President Kamala Harris serving as the tie-breaking vote.

Biden to stress U.S. does not seek new Cold War in UN speech

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden will use his first address before the UN General Assembly to lay out his vision for an era of "intensive diplomacy" with allies and "vigorous competition" with great powers — without a Cold War with China.

Why it matters: Biden will take the podium in New York on Tuesday with his own international credibility in question after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. His administration also is struggling to build international momentum to fight climate change, the pandemic and rising global authoritarianism.

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