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Democratic Socialist Julia Salazar, a candidate for New York state Senate, delivers her victory speech in September. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty

Avery Bourne, Danica Roem and Jewell Jones are all part of a rare cohort — millennial lawmakers, making up just 6% of state legislatures across the country. But there may be a lot more of them starting next Tuesday.

Why it matters: Numerous studies signal a surge of youth voting in next Tuesday's midterm elections. But what has been less apparent is that millennials — as a group holding very different views by and large from older Americans — may significantly increase their seats in state legislatures and Congress.

  • About 700 millennial candidates are running in the approximately 6,000 state legislative races.
  • Most are Democrats.
  • If there is a wave of victories, as some forecast, that would lower the average age of 56 in the legislatures.

The big picture: Millennials are most likely to identify as liberal, numerous studies say. But Steven Olikara, founder of the Millennial Action Project, a national political group, tells Axios that millennials are also more likely to be bipartisan than their older counterparts.

They have "new ideas, fresh perspectives ... not focused on the left-vs-right agenda. The senior members are rigid in their thinking and more tribal in their politics. That’s part of a product of being in politics for such a long time.”
— Steven Olikara

Mark Gearan, director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard, tells Axios, "This is a generation less wedded to ideology and more open to creative ways to fix the problems that affect their daily lives, from healthcare to college tuition to finding good jobs."

By the numbers:

  • Between 600 and 700 Democratic millennials are running for office in 46 states, according to Run for Something, a Democratic group.
  • Republican groups contacted by Axios said they do not have a precise number of millennial GOP candidates. David James of the Republican State Leadership Committee said there are a "bunch of them." Among them are Bill Essayli, Meagan Hanson and Amber Little-Turner, running for seats in California, Georgia and Pennsylvania, respectively. They are on the RSLC's "18 Races to Watch" list.
"We are the future, and it’s great to see so many young Republicans stepping up to lead in their communities. It all starts at home!"
— Matthew Oberly, spokesman, Young Republican National Federation

What to watch: The burst of political participation by a more diverse and digitally savvy generation comes as young Americans have already taken over mayoral offices in Alabama, California and Indiana.

Go deeper

Senate confirms retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as defense secretary

Photo: Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images

The Senate voted 93-2 on Friday to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as secretary of defense. Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) were the sole "no" votes.

Why it matters: Austin is the first Black American to lead the Pentagon and President Biden's second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.

House will transmit article of impeachment to Senate on Monday, Schumer says

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that the House will deliver the article of impeachment against former President Trump for "incitement of insurrection" on Monday.

Why it matters: The Senate is required to begin the impeachment trial at 1 p.m. the day after the article is transmitted.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Private equity bets on delayed tax reform in Biden administration

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

In normal times, private equity would be nervous about Democratic Party control of both the White House and Congress. But in pandemic-consumed 2021, the industry seems sanguine.

Driving the news: Industry executives and lobbyists paid very close attention to Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen's confirmation hearings this week, and came away convinced that tax reform isn't on the near-term agenda.