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A delegate from Texas waits for the start of the session during the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida August 28, 2012. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
Not pictured: Americans under thirty.
This is worse news for the Republican Party than any other bad news they could be grumbling about, and it's not going to get any better while the party obsesses over racial and social-issue questions that the rest of the non-Fox-News country has long since made up their minds about:
Young adults -- those between the ages of 18 and 29 -- have typically aligned themselves with the Democratic Party, but they have become substantially more likely to do so since 2006.

From 1993 to 2003, 47% of 18- to 29-year-olds, on average, identified as Democrats or said they were independents but leaned to the Democratic Party, while 42% were Republicans or Republican leaners. That time span included two years in which young adults tilted Republican, 1994 and 1995, when Republicans won control of Congress. Since 2006, the average gap in favor of the Democratic Party among young adults has been 18 percentage points, 54% to 36%.

That's a huge gap, and one of the reasons so many Republican "voter ID" efforts have made a special point over making it difficult for college students to vote; if you can't convince them with your policies, close the door in their faces and pray it all works out. (And younger adults are less likely to vote than their older counterparts in the first place, which continues to make Democratic get-out-the-vote efforts frustrating.)
Young whites first shifted to a pro-Democratic position in 2006, perhaps because of frustration with George W. Bush and his policies.
Hey look, somebody does remember the crapfest that was the George W. Bush presidency. Maybe a few of them will become pundits, heaven knows they've got longer memories than the current crop.

So bad news, Republicans: Young Americans continue to largely despise you. This is a problem that even a foam-headed Uncle Sam wagging his finger at the notion that young people need health insurance may not be able to fix. Maybe two foam-headed Uncle Sams, then?

Originally posted to Hunter on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:14 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Not just a foam-headed Uncle Sam... (13+ / 0-)

    but the dreaded doubly-whammy of foam-headed Uncle Sam plus GOP hipster guy. Scary...

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:20:31 AM PDT

  •  now... (21+ / 0-)

    if we can get them to the polls...

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:21:12 AM PDT

    •  Exactly what I was going to say. (5+ / 0-)

      If our demographic advantage people would actually take the trouble to vote, things would be a lot different than they are now.  

      •  If the Democrats would actually take the trouble (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Marti, Odysseus, Cadillac64

        to fight for issues the youth vote cares about, things would be a lot different than they are now.

        •  I keep saying this (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Marti, Cadillac64

          no one listens.

          Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

          by bull8807 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 01:17:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Obama knows this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Marti

          as illustrated by his change on immigration policy right before the 2012 election allowing people who grew up here to stay. Doing so pushed up turn out and it's a good policy.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 01:17:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Agree and disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I think that if Democrats would better stand for progressive values a lot more people would vote for them from all the left's demographics, but I don't think that young people are holding out more for movement on their issues than anyone else is.  

          All the things that the Republican house is blocking  right now- Immigration reform and unemployment benefits and so on- should IMHO be enough motivation for people to go to the polls and vote.  Even if you vote for a third party that at least shows you have opinions that politicians might want to pay attention to.  

          •  While I appreciate your telling me (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, Odysseus, MrJersey

            which issues "should be enough" for me to go vote for Democrats, as it stands for youth in this country right now, there are things that are more pressing than immigration.

            For example, the cost of education. A generation of American citizens are emerging into the adult world mired in debt for no real good reason, and when it comes to student loan reform I hear.... Well, I don't hear much of anything about that from the Democrats.

            Not to say that immigration reform and unemployment benefits are not important issues. They are very important. But for all the whining on this site about how the youth vote doesn't come out for Democrats, I don't see Democrats doing much of anything to tackle the issues like student loan reform. It's almost as if you have to do things on issues that matter to people in order to motivate them to vote for you.

            •  easy talking point (0+ / 0-)

              The reality is complex and rarely fully articulated. What I am seeing at a small state university in one of the poorest regions in the country is not like what I hear in the national conversation. For instance, to get financial aid you have to be in school full time, finish your degree in a specified period of time and within a certain number of hours. Makes sense, right? Get finished and out into the workplace. Except people are working while they are in school and a full load crushes them. Living in a culture of extended families, it is hard to stay in school for consecutive semesters because there are sick family members and new babies and job changes. If you stay out a semester or a year, you have to start paying back your money. You can be denied aid if you have too many withdrawals from school, even if you are good standing. I don't hear conservatives yammering about excessive regulation of student aid

              •  These points are not true...I got aid from my stat (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                school after taking 6 years to finish. Also, I didn't always go full time to get aid, and as soon as you are back in school your loans are deferred until you are out of school again. I know...I took 2 years off (4 semesters) before coming back and finishing. i don't know what school you went to but the ones I went to, a local city college and Calif state university, never gave me a problem in getting aid, deferring it, or letting me set my own time frame.

            •  I don't disagree... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shawn87, Cadillac64

              ...that dems don't do enough.  It's definitely on politicians to get their base enthusiastic.  My point is more that young people are less likely to vote irrespective of that stuff.  Google tells me that in 2010 21% of people 18-25 voted against 51% of people 30 and over.  That difference is not all attributable to lack of attention to student aid reform.  If anyone is disillusioned by being screwed again and again it should be older voters who have lived through it.  

              In a larger sense there is plenty of blame to spread around.  Democrats should suck less if they want people to vote for them.  But still, you only vote once a year and unless you live in a voter suppressed district it doesn't take that long.  Voting doesn't seem like it's that much to ask even if it ends up mattering more to other people than yourself.  

  •  An ad with a young Republican (11+ / 0-)

    hipster driving a car, combined with some attention to urban-surburban hip-hop settings ought to do the trick.  Or whatever.

    "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

    by Calvino Partigiani on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:23:22 AM PDT

  •  come join us non-hipster geezers (5+ / 0-)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:28:10 AM PDT

  •  They are risking a generation of voters... (17+ / 0-)

    These college students will remember that it was Republicans that tried to disenfranchise them...

    A mind like a book, has to be open to function properly.

    by falconer520 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 11:29:39 AM PDT

  •  Not to worry Republicans!!! (7+ / 0-)

    Steny Hoyer threats to Social Security, Simpson Bowles, Fix the Debt, increased Medicare means testing in 2015 budget -- Democrats have written off seniors and can't make it too obvious.

    And Breaking News:  You either grow older or you die, but we're not planning to die, we're planning to VOTE!!!  We're registered.  We've got id.  We've got time.  We know where to vote.  We know when to vote.  Steny Hoyer may have forgotten what a 3rd Rail is.  We have not!

    •  I suspect that SS isn't a major issue here (5+ / 0-)

      for voters who are 40 years to retirement. Republican bigotry, however....

      •  Given the economy these days (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbell, The Marti, Cadillac64

        and the lack of jobs, and especially good jobs, for young people I'd bet that it is an issue. Although I'd bet other issues are more important. Republican bigotry loses votes for the GOP, but it isn't a huge GOTV motivator.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 01:05:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If you only need voters 40 years from retirement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Marti

        you don't have a problem.  It was my sad experience, back in the day, when I was a young, first time voter at the state u, that getting my peers to the polls won my county for the Democratic Party.  Unfortunately, there were 98 other counties in my state.

      •  Actually, I don't think young people expect SS (0+ / 0-)

        to be there for them. I don't know if that adversely affects how they vote on it, but if they don't expect it to be there they may not think it matters how they vote on it or who stands for what. Just sayin'

        •  It does, we want it reformed into a stable program (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          so it's still around when we need it. I've already been paying into it for 10 years (I got my first job besides babysitting when I was 16), I would prefer to not be throwing my taxes away just for funsies. While I am also already saving for retirement via IRA just in case, I remain hopeful that when millennials start to age, our progressive streak will create real reform as opposed to cutting funding.

          Is fheàrr fheuchainn na bhith san dùil

          by bull8807 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 04:27:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It seems more that seniors (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheDudester, Odysseus, Shawn87, METAL TREK

      or at least white seniors have largely written off Democrats.  I happen to believe that Steny Hoyer is dead wrong, that in fact Social Security and Medicare should be expanded, not cut.  But if you think winning back white seniors is as simple as just swearing to protect those programs, think again.

      The trend of white seniors moving toward the Republican party began in the 1960s, but really began to take hold with the 1994 midterms.  They then voted twice for Bush though he campaigned on privatizing Social Security, and in 2000 white seniors chose Bush over a guy, Al Gore, whose major campaign policy idea was explicitly protecting Social Security by putting it in a "lockbox".

      When in 2012 Republicans then nominated as their Vice Presidential candidate someone, Paul Ryan, who was most known for wanting to turn Medicare into a voucher program, 60% of white seniors still voted Republican.

      (link here:

      No doubt, Democrats should run aggressively on protecting Social Security and Medicare, on principle and because it's the morally right thing to do.  But that's no magic bullet.  The drift of white seniors away from Democrats has as much to do with cultural fears as with pocketbook issues.  In no small measure it's about the fear on the part of many white seniors that giving benefits to all these hordes of young and nonwhite people will bankrupt the programs they favor (Social Security, Medicare, the military) and increase their taxes.

      "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

      by puakev on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 01:36:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well Democrats seem to be trying to prove their (0+ / 0-)


        In no small measure it's about the fear on the part of many white seniors that giving benefits to all these hordes of young and nonwhite people will bankrupt the programs they favor (Social Security, Medicare, the military) and increase their taxes.
        Not to pick on you, but you've also picked up what has become almost a mantra "white senior".  I mean how hard are you going to try to convince me I am in the wrong party?

        I think Democrats are taking a risk of losing whites at a faster rate than they anticipate though perhaps HRC will stem that tide for awhile.  

        It's one thing to have 60% of whites voting Republican.  It'll be something else again if that becomes 85%.   And that's not even racism, it's plain old identity.   People tend to follow the opinion leaders among their peers and vote like their friends and neighbors.  

        •  I'm not convincing you you're in the wrong party (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Shawn87, METAL TREK

          I'm explaining why so many of folks in your group are choosing to move to the Republican party.  

          I agree it has a lot to do with identity and culture like voting as your peers and friends and neighbors do.

          But that doesn't explain why Asians, Latinos, and Blacks happen to vote alike despite being of different ethnicities.  Asians don't exactly have a lot of opinion leaders to look to, yet they vote overwhelmingly Democratic.  Same for Latinos.  So why is it that all the nonwhite folks manage to vote the same way despite their differences, yet white folks, specifically older white folks, overwhelmingly vote the other way?

          In that regard, it's absolutely tied in with race.  White folks have dominated this country since forever.  Not long ago in the grand scheme of things they made up 90% and more of the electorate.  That's changing rapidly.  So a lot of them are freaking out, the same way white folks in Europe are freaking out.  It doesn't make them bad, just human.

          But what then should be the reaction?  For nonwhites to just tone it down and for liberals to stop being all multicultural because it might offend the sensibilities of white folks?  I don't think so.  Are we supposed to stop pointing out things for what they are, such as the reality that older white folks are increasingly voting Republican for no other obvious reason than cultural fears and resentments?  Heck no.  I think the only path forward is for liberals and Democrats to be true to themselves and embrace diversity, unafraid and unapologetically.

          And frankly, as the Gallup poll cited in this article shows, young whites appear to be cool with it, so I don't think your fears of 85% of whites voting Republican are going to pan out.  Maybe the over 65 crowd of white people might go that way.  But if the choice is to cater to their cultural fears and resentments or move on with the future, I say choose the latter.

          To be clear:  I believe in a big tent, and am perfectly willing to tolerate and even support candidates in red districts who might not agree with me on immigration or guns or women's rights or the environment, if for example they're for things like increasing taxes on the wealthy, if they're for single payer health care, and if they're for expanding Social Security.

          But that doesn't mean I'm going to scale back on pushing for immigration reform or gun control or women's rights or defense cuts or Obamacare or help for the urban poor.  Tolerance goes both ways.  And I'm not going to stop pushing those issues or tone it down on the multiculturalism just because it might push white seniors to vote Republican.

          "Those who have wrought great changes in the world never succeeded by gaining over chiefs; but always by exciting the multitude." - Martin Van Buren

          by puakev on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 02:17:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I disagree. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MrJersey, AoT
            It doesn't make them bad, just human.
            Using the political process to damage the futures of any American citizen is, explicitly, bad.

            -7.75 -4.67

            "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."

            There are no Christians in foxholes.

            by Odysseus on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:01:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  In essence, white people are starting to feel... (0+ / 0-)

            ... left out. Think of the average older white boy on a bus or train surrounded by people who are anything but white. Taking up the "can't beat 'em, join 'em" strategy is not available to these white people because they havn't reverse-engineered John Howard Griffin.

            Quite simply, being permanently white with no recourse sucks. And they know it.

      •  White Seniors turned out GOP because... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, puakev, Shawn87, METAL TREK

        Although Paul Ryan's plan was radical...He promised not to touch it for people 55 and under.

        So seniors could easily support them because THEY weren't the ones who were going to get fucked over.

        However, if you were 50-54 you were about to get fucked in the ass by Paul Ryan.

      •  Seniors moving to the Republicans are doing so (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Shawn87, METAL TREK, puakev

        because of fear of the future and the incipient racism that pervaded American society when they were young.  No all, mind you, but a significant number seem to be in the "I want my America back" camp, where blacks and minorities knew their place, and the scary enemies of the United States were obvious, and the only Mexican they ever had to deal with was the Cisco Kid.

        And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

        by MrJersey on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:22:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  But they need to vote (6+ / 0-)

    When I was growing up I took it for granted that when I turned 21 I would be voting. I have changed parties, but I have not changed on voting in every election where I am eligible. That includes primaries.
    Younger people could be encouraging some of their number to file in Democratic primaries. They could make social conservatism an indisputably lost cause.

    Censorship is rogue government.

    by scott5js on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 12:06:54 PM PDT

  •  about the only demographic group (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whl, bull8807, The Marti, Shawn87

    that doesn't despise the Republican Party are...billionaires, the one and only constituency of that party these days. If an issue isn't favored by the Republican Party's billionaire overlords...forget about it.

    That's why they really should chance the party's slogan to...Grand Old Prostitutes (to the one percent)

  •  First mistake ... (5+ / 0-)

    believing that politics is, or ever will be, cool.

    Adults, or political parties comprised of adults, who make life, and the future prospects of a decent life, difficult for young voters will be treated with the disdain that they deserve.

    No need for you to be hip, just don't be a dick.

    The next house I build will be a military industrial complex. It seems to be the only structure that is impervious to anything man, or nature, can throw at it.

    by glb3 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 12:43:00 PM PDT

  •  Please tell us how to make sure they vote? (6+ / 0-)

    Vote in EVERY ELECTION and bring 10 friends to the polls.

    And join voter enrollment drives, etc.

    •  Pass policies that improve their lives (10+ / 0-)

      significantly. I'd suggest starting with student loan reform and college funding. Student loan forgiveness would be even better.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 12:50:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I hound my daughter whenever she moves (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Marti, Odysseus, MrJersey, Cadillac64

      to be sure and register in her new county.  When we lived in the same county, I took her and friends with me to vote.  I keep hoping I can make it a habit and she will continue even after I'm gone.  She's 27 now and I still have to remind her.

      “To the world you may be just one person, but to one person you may be the world.”-Brandi Snyder (in memory of my Nick)

      by YellowDogInGA on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 12:59:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, many young people do not see a (0+ / 0-)

        connection between voting and the quality of their lives.  Like, why can't you vote by Email like you can with "Dancing with the Stars?"  They just do not seem to make the connection that this stuff matters.

        And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

        by MrJersey on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:26:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Here (0+ / 0-)

        In Oregon you can register to vote at the DMV while getting a state ID at 18, and all voting is by mail. We've had as many as 7 young adults living with us at times (long story) and they all vote because it's so easy to do. We also encourage them to do so. Why can't every state have the system we do here? Anything else just seems like MADNESS!!

        "Because we are all connected...."

        by Shawn87 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:07:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And it takes a lot to change that inclination (6+ / 0-)

    I can't find the link but I've seen similar data showing that if you vote the same party for your first several elections, that tends to be a deeply ingrained pattern.  

    In other words the Democrats would really need to screw up horrendously and unforgivably, and the Republican to offer viable solutions/improvement, in order to make this statistic go away.

    I just don't see that happening. I mean, these days if the Republicans offered improvement-oriented solutions that actually help most people, they wouldn't be Republicans.

  •  Need to put more energy into GOTV (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    puakev, AoT, The Marti, Odysseus, Cadillac64

    Hey, there are all these market researchers out there. People who have down to a science how to get folks to buy stuff. We have figured out how to build a computer the size of a watch.

    Why can't we get out the youth vote? Saying Geez we just cant doesn't cut it.

  •  Republicans are dumb enough to think (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, bull8807, The Marti, Shawn87

    the problem is that they're "uncool," and not that their policies suck.

    29, white male, TX-07 (current), TN-09 (born), TN-08 (where parents live now)

    by TDDVandy on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 01:10:42 PM PDT

  •  I'm 54 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, The Marti, Shawn87, Cadillac64

    In the 80's and 90's I remember a lot of younger republicans, I think in part because there was more jobs and people felt more affluent. Therefore the whole anti tax anti regulation thing rang more true to them.

    However now there's not a really bright future for kids in their 20's and 30's. Even the ones who get degrees are likely to be under paid or even have their skilled job scabbed out by a guest worker.

    Plus back then young people were more prejudiced and the country more white. Now days it seems to me like the younger you are, the less prejudiced you are. Also they pushed the environmental stuff really hard to school kids.

    So when they see a party of old white guys spouting racisim and trashing environmental  regulations and claiming education and the free market will get you a good job it just doesn't have the traction it used to.

  •  I think it's generational more than age per se. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm sure there were a considerable number of younger voters who changed from voting R to voting D in 2006, but I suspect that a more important factor is the aging out of the 18-29 age group of a cohort that is more Republican than usual.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 01:53:47 PM PDT

  •  on the flip side (0+ / 0-)

    this is good news for the dems, but the flip side is the republicans continue to rely on old, whie, grumpy xying out males for theres.

  •  It's not such a big advantage for Dems (0+ / 0-)

    if the little suckers won't actually get out and vote. That's the real problem. Democrats would be winning just about everywhere if those who support the Party actually voted.

    Voting is the means by which the public is distracted from the realities of power and its exercise.

    by Anne Elk on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 03:32:15 PM PDT

  •  No, a Two-Headed Foam Uncle Sam (0+ / 0-)

    That's more representative of the Republican Party.

  •  Rethugs Don't Want Young People Dependent Upon (0+ / 0-)

    government for healthcare, affordable education, good paying career opportunities, or anything else that might make life better for all.  

  •  My oldest kid will 1st time vote in 2016. (0+ / 0-)

    I've watched her & her classmates through their lives and these kids have scars.

    Too many were raised while their parents searched for jobs and lost their homes.  Friends disappear from classes. They hear the whispers.

    How many kids lost parents and siblings or classmates to this endless war economy?

    They know enough current events to know who started the fires.  Where the DNC needs to check themselves is that some are seen as the same as the GOP, or at least continuing the same policies. They are paying attention.

    These kids are angry and all we can do is try to channel that anger into action.  They are always so polite to their friends' long-haired-hippie-type-pinko-fag-momma (moi) when I bring up AGAIN that it all comes back to GOTV & showing up.

    And, never, EVER voting GOP.

    "Then why don't all girls belong to unions?" "Well, there's some that thinks it ain't fashionable; there's some that thinks it ain't no use; and there's some that never thinks at all."

    by Cadillac64 on Fri Mar 28, 2014 at 06:43:59 PM PDT

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