Thursday, November 06, 2008

Two Million Utes

I'm not at all convinced that the Dems did their homework or got their money's worth from the youth (18-29-y-o) voters this general election.

In our results jabbering, Lynne and I disagree on this. We often do; I see her as starting from the small details and expanding to bigger ideas, while I tend to start at the abstracts and work in. In our Left Ahead! podcast, Lynne buys into the blog/MSM meme that the two million new youngish voters means they were a big factor and likely to continue voting (and left).

Also see the Salon analysis of the relatively weak influence of this bloc.

To me:
  • They didn't even keep pace with the percentage of other age groups. Everyone grew, but the youth at a lower rate.
  • More shocking, the percentage and absolute increases in this group from 2000 to 2004 was higher. Moreover, a greater percentage voted — 19.4 of the total in 2004 and only 18% this time.
  • On the other hand, they went for the right guy much more — 66% for Obama this time and 54% for Kerry last.
With those and other factors, I concluded that first, the youth made a difference, but not the election difference. Second, they should have flooded the polls, outvoting us alter kakers. Even assuming some of those who voted will stay progressives as they grey and bald, we need more numbers to see the real effect. The stereotype that many youth are disengaged lives.

I put that to the Democratic Party, and any other party that looks to future elections. There's a clear and even trend to more conservative votes by age. This time, for example, the 60 and overs went 52% to 46% for McCain. They were also 23% of the vote. More telling, those on the cusp of this group, the 45 through 59s were split at 49% and made up the largest bloc by age, 30%.

Getting a relatively few younger voters to the polls was barely good enough and may not be in the next Presidential election. The Republicans will likely be mad and hungry.

Tags: , , ,


Quriltai said...

Oh. I thought I was reading something about how Democrats were underperforming in Utah, and I was going to call you crazy.

That said, I still love Rocky Anderson.

massmarrier said...

I'm a bit of a Nelly on such things...maybe a bit crazy too. I am concerned that Dems may think, oh, we got more youth voters and they went heavily for Obama, so we're all set. There's clearly more to do to make them and their chums regular voters.