Saturday, February 28, 2009

Generally Speaking, Do You Consider Yourself ...

... a Republican, a Democrat, an Independent, or what?

That's the question pollsters ask respondents to determine party identification. The New York Times has a big piece up on this, "
Ailing G.O.P. Risks Losing a Generation," and check the graphic for the numbers on party identification today: "The Party Identification Gap."

There's a lot of talk lately about
Republicans losing young voters (they're more liberal, etc., etc.). But this part from the Times on the importance of personality is telling:

Ronald Reagan’s presidency underscores the power of a popular incumbent to win over young voters. When he was elected in 1980, only 20 percent of young Americans identified as Republicans. By 1989, the number had grown to 37 percent, a significant factor in the expansion of the Republican Party during those years.
Geez, youth identification toward the GOP grew 17 percent in eight years. That's prettty phenomenal. Right now the Democrats have a 14 point lead among youth voters, but as we've had years of "BusHitler" demonization, it's frankly not unreasonable to suggest that President Obama's near his peak popularity with the younger cohort at the moment.

Certainly we'll know more about trends in party identification over the next couple of years, but a charismatic and popular field of Republican presidential hopefuls for 2012 may help tamp down youth enthusiasm for the Dems, especially as the necessary tax increases to pay for the "
generational" debt Obama's foisting off onto America's youth starts hitting youngsters in their pocketbooks. (But, hey, maybe it's all about being in on the "gay thing," so who knows?)


Having said all of this,
Meagan McCain recently argued that Republicans have a "crippling technology disconnect" between the party and young voters. Conservatives can get hip, right?


Dave said...

I am now an unapologetic Libertarian.

Totally fed up with the leftward lunge of the republicans, I finally left that wayward party and formally joined the Libertarian Party in 1998.

As I saw things at the time, the dems did not push this country to the edge of the abyss all by themselves. They were aided and abetted the entire way by the republicans.

The correctness of my decision to change parties has only been reinforced in the 11 years since, as the republicans have moved to take over the political "center" that the democrats occupied thirty years ago.

If this country is, in fact, to be saved, it will be libertarian principals that ultimately save it.

BTW-Isn't it funny how the Republican Party only rediscovers its "conservatism" after they have been kicked out of the big dance by the voters, and are looking to regain entry?

The repulicrats are totally clueless.


Doctor Biobrain said...

Donald - You're missing something here: A popular Republican president brought young people into the party. A popular Democratic president pulled them onto his side An unpopular Republican president pushed them out. It seems to me that as long as Obama can stay popular, he'll keep the youths and perhaps pull more in. But I suspect that even failure wouldn't pull them from Obama, as I think that it was Bush's specific policies that scared everyone away. So as long as Obama doesn't adopt policies that are traditionally offensive to young people (ie, invade countries), he'll probably be fine.

And btw, party id is one thing, but a lot of youths stay independent, but lean Democratic. Obama beat McCain by 34 points with voters under twenty-four according to CNN's exit poll. While a more hip candidate than McCain might help, I suspect that Obama will keep most of these people. Oh, and the only age group that McCain won: Senior Citizens, by an 8 point margin. Obama even won the middle-aged vote by a slim margin. Sorry to say, but you guys are in a dying party. No, wait. I was actually quite happy to say that.