I find this observation by Joel Kotkin to be interesting:
Generational politics pose both risks and rewards for each party. A Trump candidacy may excite older voters and many younger white voters, but the cost among a pro-immigrant, heavily minority millennial voting bloc could prove damaging over the longer run.
Democrats, too, face risks, particularly if they continue on the path of radical wealth redistribution and draconian climate change regulation. Although still strong, support for Obama has been steadily weakening since 2008. Millennials are the only age group to still approve of President Obama’s record, but by only 49 percent, not exactly a ringing endorsement.
The future may be determined by the extent that millennials feel that Democratic policies inhibit their ability to move up economically. Younger millennials, having grown up during a weak economy under a progressive president, are notably more conservative than older ones, notes a recent Harvard study.
They increasingly share some attitudes with conservatives, having become notably more deeply distrustful of many of the nation’s political institutions. Nearly half describe themselves as independents, far more than any other age group.
To be sure, mllennials will likely stay more liberal than boomers (about as many are conservative as liberal), but they could shift further to the right once they enter their 30s and start earning a living.
Independent is a pretty flexible label and hides a lot of biases that might otherwise put them solidly in one camp or the other. But the realities of life do indeed have a tendency to temper idealism. As you grow older, you realize how little your priorities for what you earn matter to government. You are simply a cash cow to them and they’ll use force to make you pay your “fair share” … as defined by them.
When you begin to get into your career and raise a family, and watch as your priorities in life become second to the government’s you have a sort of epiphany. Most, at least, begin to pay a little more attention to what is happening via government and begin to drop the youthful silliness that marks their adolescent and college years (colleges are incubators of silly ideas … see past 7 years). You begin to see government for what it really is … a “legalized” and ever expanding protection racket. Something that, if Paulie ran it in the neighborhood, would be illegal because it would be considered extortion. But then, if you disagree with government and refuse to pay the protection money, what happens?
These are the things … just some among many … that begin to dawn on people as they get older. And it usually pushes those with the ability to reason, to the more fiscally conservative, smaller less costly side.
Of course, some never get it, and they’re the type that elected this idiot in the White House and will vote for Hillary Clinton (or Bernie Sanders and then Hillary Clinton).
They will never understand that there is nothing free in the world, most of the problems we are “scared” with originate with government (and that government is NOT the answer) and simply have no problem with their freedom being limited if it is limited by the “right people”.
However, as you read this blurb, you see something that should clue you into why we’re in this shape. And it isn’t millennials. It’s boomers. They defy the point I’m trying to make (“about as many are conservative as liberal”) with about half remaining in fantasy land. Of course, they also lived in the golden age of the US in terms of total wealth.
So I dispute the belief expressed by the author that millennials will “likely stay more liberal than boomers.” Perhaps socially, as in social issues. But in pocket book issues, they’re hardly found the living easy. And the big government help they were told was so necessary and good isn’t at all panning out like promised.
Is there any wonder the Democrats are insistent on importing new voters, legally or not?
But are millennials “game changers” like Kotkin contends?
Frankly I don’t really see any generation as “game changers” at the moment. But you may disagree.
This week’s podcast is up on the podcast page. Hey, you know all these special snowflakes that have to retreat to safe zones when they hear speech that triggers them? One of them is gonna be president someday.
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.