McConnell at the Crossroads

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to the media at the U.S. Capitol on June 21, 2023, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Given the age of the American electorate, it shouldn’t be surprising that our leaders are older than the general population. 

The average age of a registered voter in 2020 was 50, six years older than it was in the mid-1990s, and 12 years older than the nation as a whole. Even remembering that minors can’t vote, our electorate skews senior, especially when we start thinking about likely voters as opposed to just eligible voters. 

As a rough rule of thumb, the turnout percentage for an age group is usually about equal to the numerical age of its members. About 40 percent of 40-year-olds vote, 50 percent of 50-year-olds, 60 percent of 60-year-olds and so on. 

Population booms can mute the impact of this trend in favor of younger voters, but only up to a point. If more than half of voters are in their golden years, we would expect to see elderly people overrepresented in our political class. 

But this is ridiculous …

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