Free Markets, Free People

Why the GOP Shouldn’t Get Too Excited About The Polls

There’s been much discussion amongst the punditry about the precipitous decline in Pres. Obama’s poll numbers. The fact that his RCP average has dropped below 40% for the first time, or that Hispanics and white women have seemingly soured on Obama and the Democrats, is causing much buzz. Most alarming, are the numbers on millenials:

Young Americans are turning against Barack Obama and Obamacare, according to a new survey of millennials, people between the ages of 18 and 29 who are vital to the fortunes of the president and his signature health care law.

The most startling finding of Harvard University’s Institute of Politics: A majority of Americans under age 25–the youngest millennials–would favor throwing Obama out of office.


Obama’s approval rating among young Americans is just 41 percent, down 11 points from a year ago, and now tracking with all adults. While 55 percent said they voted for Obama in 2012, only 46 percent said they would do so again.

When asked if they would want to recall various elected officials, 45 percent of millennials said they would oust their member of Congress; 52 percent replied “all members of Congress” should go; and 47 percent said they would recall Obama. The recall-Obama figure was even higher among the youngest millennials, ages 18 to 24, at 52 percent.

To be sure, these numbers don’t bode well for the survival of Obamacare, or for the Democrats chances in 2014. But I don’t think they necessarily mean that the GOP will reap the benefits.

For example, with respect to younger voters, Kristen Soltis Anderson makes some interesting points over at The Daily Beast:

The way young voters feel about Obama doesn’t just matter in 2014 or even 2016. Despite the conventional wisdom that young voters don’t matter in politics, the way a voter first looks at politics when they come of age resonates throughout their voting behavior through their lifetimes. Just last month, Pew Research Center released a study showing that if you came of age under Nixon, you’re more likely to vote Democratic, even to this day. Came of age during the Reagan years? You’re still more likely to lean Republican.


Harvard rolled out a chart of party identification by age, which showed that in November 2009, some 43 percent of those aged 18-24 called themselves Democrats. Four years later, that has fallen to 31 percent. A huge drop to be sure, but that doesn’t mean people were necessarily changing their minds; it mostly means last election cycle’s bright-eyed kiddo has had a few birthdays. Our gender and race don’t change much year to year, but each of us is constantly moving up in our age bracket. And sure enough, when you look at the Harvard survey’s 25-29 year olds, they’re as Democratic as ever.

That doesn’t mean that this block of voters won’t ever change their minds and views, but it does suggest that, however low their opinion of the Democrats and their leader is now, they are more likely to remain loyal to that party and change it from within.

Another way to look at this is, those who voted for Obama because they wanted to see the ACA enacted and implemented, among other changes he promised, are going to suddenly change their minds about state vs. market solutions just because of a failed implementation. If anything, they are likely to seek out more capable technocrats as their political leaders, and to express greater interest in single-payer health care.

Even so, Anderson makes another great point, i.e. that not all millenials are the same:

To better understand what’s happening with today’s “youth vote,” first consider this fact: someone who turned eighteen on election day last year would have been just six years old on September 11, 2001. They would have been eighth graders during Obama’s first election.

I’ll violate some rules of decorum here by revealing my age: I am 29 years old. I’m a few short months away from aging out of “the youth vote” entirely. And I have about as much in common with today’s high school seniors as I do with my own parents. We researchers and pundits lump 18-year-olds and 29-year-olds into the same bucket when we talk about the “youth vote,” but the truth is that the back end of the “Millennial” generation has little memory of “hope and change” at all.

In short, provided that the GOP can deliver a compelling alternative to the Democrats, it’s possible that they can pick up some of those young voters. Of course, they aren’t called the stupid party for nothing, so don’t expect much on this front.

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41 Responses to Why the GOP Shouldn’t Get Too Excited About The Polls

  • Quite contrary to our resident pom-pom girl for the Collective, and reigning Mavin Of Moosesqueeze…
    it is his Collective that is stuck with the BIG GOVERNMENT post-office program for the electronic era.
    Reform is going to be in high demand, and not just lip-service to it, or the kind of “reform” that got us DMV style health-care.

  • “Another way to look at this is, those who voted for Obama because they wanted to see the ACA enacted and implemented, among other changes he promised”

    No one voted for him so he could enact tha ACA. There are leftists who want socialized care, but no one wanted ACA. It was just the toxic brew the Senate was able to pass through their bowls before the people of MA selected a Republican to replace Ted.  

    • Sorry to toot my own horn (usually what I post is poorly written, due to lack of the editing and fact checking you might see at say, newsweek), but I really like how I described ACA:

      “It was just the toxic brew the Senate was able to pass through their bowls before the people of MA selected a Republican to replace Ted.”

      I’m biased and all, but it is the best description I think I’ve seen of the ACA.

  • “Just last month, Pew Research Center released a study showing that if you came of age under Nixon, you’re more likely to vote Democratic, even to this day. ”
    Nixon was a Republican.
    This means that you can be repulsed by a party that gives you a bad experience.
    Obamacare is that bad experience. “I was lied to! I was tricked! I have to pay more for less!”

    • Heh. Good point.

    • The Nixon thing was in the hands of the Media Megaphone.  When’s the last time Benghazi got mention in national media?

      • True, but the ACA is a far bigger deal and those premium bills will come every month. And then later next year they will go up.

    • Oh, I say and I say it again, ya been had!
      Ya been took!
      Ya been hoodwinked!
      Led astray!

      Run amok!
      This is what He does….

  • At this point the only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Republicans still wear underwear. So, expect Jeb Bush to emerge once Christ Christie is deemed to weird and fat to be the nominee. But don’t count out a third try by Romney. He’s the perfect Republican after all: a liberal.
    Of the two lads who have a little spark, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. Cruz’s father is problematic, and if he’s not what he pretends to be…
    Likewise, Rand Paul also has a father problem, of a different kind.
    I sorta like both of these guys, but as the cup approaches the lip, I’m very nervous about them.
    In the mid-terms, the Republicans can fumble any advantage, so Obamacare had best continue its magnificent contribution to waking people up, so that they can hold their noses while holding their noses and bother to even vote *against* the Marxist-Leninists of Pelosi and Reid. (Those two never cease to amaze me.)

    • Chris Christies last minute suck up to Obama made him the media darling at the moment.  Christie will be treated well by the media during the primaries for two reasons.  The desperate GOP will then through support behind him (like making him leader of the GOP governors association or whatever over the more conservative Jindal) and because he will damage his opponents.  And Christie will do this because he knows the media will keep loving him for it.  But once he gets the nomination he will easily be destroyed.  Not only because he’s fat and the public is shallow because they’ll link it to things like GOP ‘fat cat’ and rich glutton.  Things like the fact he worked for Bernie Madoff are instant death when the media decides to start discussing them.
      BTW, why would anyone think Romney is a bigger liberal than Christie, btw?

    • Hey, I read your book. Very nice! So when’s the next one coming out?

      • Thanks! The next one is percolatin’. Will take the team into unknown, much less uncharted, territory.

  • “… the way a voter first looks at politics when they come of age resonates throughout their voting behavior through their lifetimes.”
    What’s that old adage … “ a conservative is a liberal who has met reality” .. whatever

  • Indeed, with all the scandals from the thug-in-chief, more than half the “American” people didn’t take notice until THEIR ox was gored.
    As Dale put it, …”a nation of two year-olds”.

  • To be sure, these numbers don’t bode well for the survival of Obamacare
    They might not bode well for the opinion of Obamacare, but its not going anywhere.  The last chance to get rid of it sailed in 2012.  The only way to get rid of it would be for Repbulicans to take all 3 houses.  The first chance of that is 2016.  And by then you’ll have a large number of people who have convinced themselves that it is no longer their responsibility to provide healthcare for themselves and their families who will cry bloody murder and the media will find the worst sob stories to make the republicans look like they’re stealing candy from babies.  All that assumes the republicans don’t want it.  I have the impression they just want to melt and repour it into something that benefits themselves and their cronies better.
    Its failure will be the war drum for single payer the only change Democrats & Media will support.  Otherwise, it will never be unbolted, ever.

  • The establishment GOP will push amminsty and then Christie as the nominee or someone close. Never discount the GOP’s ability to mess over itself.

    • Why the GOP likes amnesty amazes me. Do they really think Hispanics are “natural conservatives”? Is the cheap labor that important? Is it about image (embrace diversity, etc)?

      • Yes, and another factor or two.
        Remember, SOME of our libertarian friends think our borders should just be “open”.
        Some on the religious right think it is just “right” to give illegal low intensity invaders “forgiveness”.

      • The money matters that much.  The Number one category of donors are small business owners who tend to be labor intensive.  But it isn’t just wages.  The fact they can be fired at will and can’t complain or do anything to draw attention to themselves, they are much more like servants than employees.  If you have a truck full of toxic chemicals you want to make disappear.  You can toss the keys to an illegal.  He may not be more likely to do it but far less likely to whistleblow if he does. Same for unsafe working conditions.
        In addition to the fact they are cheaper and more servile, They have a global effect on wages.  The fact they are less expensive (even though in some cases they take home more money) puts downward wage pressure on those legal people looking for the same work.  Even though that may be unskilled labor, the next labor pool over like slightly skilled people are affected and they affect the next pool like dominos.  The downward wage pressure affect most of the employment pool.  And increases the unemployment pool which itself has an effect on eveyone’s wages.  I sometimes wonder if the republicans don’t mind extending unemployment benefits because it encourages people to keep holding out for a job that will never come instead of moving on. They are subsidizing high unemployment which then allows employers to give out fewer wages and take away benefits like pensions.

        • Then why do they want to make them legal?
          I think a lot of businesses hire illegals and then get worried about being caught and want them legalized.
          They have not thought through the fact that once legalization takes place, they will be just like any other employee.

          • Republicans are dumb.  The myth that they are harder working inherently which will backfire on some employers.
            Some are still going to hire illegals, that market isn’t going anywhere.  The legal market will allow employment in areas of visibility that weren’t allowed before and the person will claimed to be legal, after that if anyone complains after that, they better have video tape evidence or they’re racist.  Have 10% guest worker or whatever and 90% illegal and if someone is questioned they are legal that day.  Having guest workers enables better cover and broader access to illegal workers.  And dumps more labor in a job segment that already has high unemployment.  More downward pressure on wages.  Flood the market with labor legal or illegal.

        • Your argument about depressing overall wages makes more sense.

  • Then it’s all the better that Obamacare and other wealth transfer programs hurt them badly.
    If they won’t learn, at least they suffer.

  • Can Democrats Recover From the Obamacare Catastrophe?
    Then, in mid-October, the focus shifted from the government-shutdown fiasco to a different debacle, this time a Democratic disaster: the botched launch of the Obamacare website and subsequent implementation problems of the health care law, including termination notices going out to many people who had insurance coverage. The Democratic numbers from the generic-ballot test dropped from 45 percent to 37 percent, and Republicans moved up to 40 percent. This 10-point net shift from a Democratic advantage of 7 points to a GOP edge of 3 points in just over a month is breathtaking, perhaps an unprecedented swing in such a short period. Occurring around Election Day, such a shift would probably amount to the difference between Democrats picking up at least 10 House seats, possibly even the 17 needed for a majority, and instead losing a half-dozen or so seats.
    Of course, with the election 11 months away, it’s too early to get really excited about this turnabout, but it demonstrates the volatility we are seeing these days in American politics.

    • I think the volatility stems from having only two choices that both suck. People are less and less attached to either one of them, except for true believer collectivists on the left and football-game Republicans on the right (those that see elections as akin to athletic contests and just cheer for their team).


      Those in the middle veer back and forth because they sense at some intuitive level that *all* the political players are in it for themselves and are just maneuvering to become the current custodian of the spoils of the ruling class.

  • Future, hell, I’ll be happy if we can make it through a President who thinks he lives in Chicago from sea to shining sea.
    Sometimes he gets confused and mistakes the 57 states for El SanObamadoreula.

  • One million Californians who lose their individual plans in 2014 know that’s not true; when many saw their new premiums, they experienced “sticker shock.” Next comes “doc shock” — the revelation that many folks also won’t be able to keep their doctors.
    Meet Chico, Calif., attorney Kenneth Turner. His wife found out that she has breast cancer two days before they received their cancellation notice. She’s scheduled for surgery Dec. 20 and will hear the prognosis Dec. 30. Two days later, she loses the doctor who will have operated on her, as well as other doctors she has seen for decades.
    —Ed Driscoll

    Just one fresh hell after another for America under Pres. ScamWOW, huh…???
    And some of you think this is just going to go away, and it will have TIME for people to get jaded?!?!

    • Okay, I admit, it IS a gift that is going to keep on giving in the course of the next year.
      It’s not like a train wreck, you can see how big that is, get a handle on how many cars, how many people, clean it up and it’s over.
      This though, this is more like….one of those minefields the Germans laid in the Reichswald during WWII – made of glass, still there, difficult to remove, patiently waiting to go off when you wander in.   but with this one, posting warnings won’t stop the explosions…no matter how many times you warn people about this minefield, they’re going to keep wandering into it, because they’re going to get sick or their kin are going to get sick.  They’re going to see the premiums every month, and they’re going to have something go wrong and discover that $10,000 deductible really IS $10,000 and not just words on a piece of paper.
      So, you’re right that it’s not going away –
      On the flip side however, the media will just stop with the stories after a few sensational ones, because the man bites dog fascination will fade, and they’re nothing if not good at ‘look squirrel!’ covering for the Boy King.   He lives from one news cycle to the next – witness his “I’m angry!” response to the IRS abuse back in spring of this year to his end of year “why are you people all whiney about this?” attitude today.  We can only get so many cancer patient loses coverage stories before people are thinking ‘yeah yeah, we’ve heard this’.
      It’s hard to stay angry for 12 months, and THAT’S what Barry lives for, our failure to be as outraged as we should be over time.

        I think the resistance is going to become more and more organized on many levels.
        Targeting the kids who are expected to pull the wagon is a great idea.
        Just opt out.

    • Rates will go up next year for sure. Probably be crazy high.

  • More Underwear Gnome-o-nomics from Pres. ScamWOW.
    This goes nicely with his formulation for how America became prosperous…
    1. Minimum wage
    2. ???
    3. National prosperity!


    • You’d think he’d observe that “the old way” he always wants to do away with put us on top.
      And his way….well, HE may think we’re on top, but the people are beginning to see it another way.  HE’S on top, and that’s all that matters to him.

      • I think he has the same grasp of “the arc of history” that Erp has.
        Which is the same as a goose has, coincidentally.


    Oh, hey, I personally LOVE this…!!!
    You have a MANDATORY “product” that you can’t sell because…PR.
    “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor…IF you pay to keep your doctor under our MANDATORY program that will bend the cost curve down for everyone…
    and if you are having trouble with what I just said, it’s because we need to spend more on PR.”
    “You proles would understand this and thank us for doing it to you…er, FOR you…if we just marketed this like those capitalist swine market via their will-crushing hypnotic messages…”
    Yep. Every day brings a new revelation…!!!

  • But that has changed, and dramatically, with the law actually going into effect — and going live — back on October 1st. For the first time, Obamacare got “close enough” to significant portions of the American electorate to trigger a sudden shift in actual emotional response from a generic disapproval to outright hostility. I believe that Obama and his Administration — lulled, perhaps, by the more passive dislike evinced by the public up until now — have been caught genuinely off-guard by the dramatic change in public opinion in a month’s time, not just towards Obamacare but towards Obama himself. I believe that shift in fact represents a ‘catastrophe’ — that is, an abrupt transition from one state to another — brought on by the realities of Obamacare hitting home.

    Ohhhh, yah…!!!
    As I’ve said many times…
    people HATE being lied to, and having their choices taken from them.

    • “…people HATE being lied to…”


      I was talking about that over at Daily Pundit yesterday:


      “I’m thinking this kind of attempted stretching of the truth to the breaking point is one of the reasons O’s support is tanking among women. Single women especially get pretty damn tired of the hair-splitting BS from men trying to get sex or living support from them with the least possible commitment or trouble.


      “I wonder if, for many of them, their attitude toward O has followed the trajectory they’ve had with some of the worst men in their lives: wonder and glory at first, during which they idolized him. Then a bit of subterfuge that was explained away. Then getting caught in lies several more times. Finally, gradually increasing realization that the guy is just a parasitic d-bag who has told them exactly what he thought they wanted to hear from the beginning and *never* really cared about them, with his only concern being how much he could take advantage of them.”


      • I think it is a matter of seeing SO many facets of falsehood, told so many times and so egregiously.
        Every time you heard anything negative, you were hearing someone lying about it, too (i.e., the early day glitches were because of overwhelming “demand”, not bad or non-existent code).