Historically, Democrats have relied upon the youth vote. It's a prize to be won by liberal candidates, and Obama's reelection was due, in part, to mobilizing the youth electorate. As millennials are coming off the tail end of Reagan's conservative revolution, their taste for progressive politics has heightened, and the pendulum of political establishment has once again shifted toward the left. The grad students and twenty-somethings who are making their way to the polls are a new breed of electorate; they are unmarried, they are social liberals, and, most importantly, they are united in their distaste for the GOP.
Almost all millennials agree that reproductive rights and marriage equality are key issues, and the archaic social conservatism still present within the Republican party is successfully turning them away. A 2013 Pew Research Center study concluded that 66 percent of millennials support same-sex marriage, up from only 54 percent when Barack Obama took office in 2008. As these issues become more and more crucial to this generation, their votes become more and more Democratic. Liberals have this generation to thank for making 2013 a successful year in terms of elections.
Recreational marijuana was decriminalized in Portland, Maine, Illinois lawmakers approved a marriage equality bill, and Terry McAuliffe beat right-wing social extremist Ken Cuccinelli in Virginia's gubernatorial race. Additionally, as more youth find themselves identifying as nonreligious, they will become less likely to align with social conservatism. Because of this, Democrats will have a good piece of the youth vote in 2014, and, if they are successful in mobilizing them, they will take back seats in the house and even perhaps regain a majority.
So, why does this all matter? It matters because women, Latinos, and 18 to 29 year-olds will be crucial in all upcoming elections. Currently, this is great news for the Democrats, and terrible news for the GOP. Since the Republican post-2012 rebranding campaign has been ultimately stale and unsuccessful, conservatives still have the connotation of being old, rich, Christian white men. If the GOP goes the next year without changing something, they'll feel the burn next November.