Thursday, March 27, 2014

Democrats Have Screwed Themselves With Increased Reliance on Younger Voters

I touched on this issue yesterday in my post on Republican Party electoral competitiveness.

Democrats simply can't rely on the youth demographic to carry their progressive coalition. For one thing, young people are simply not reliable voters compared to older Americans, who have higher rates of voter turnout relative to any other cohort.

So I thought this piece was interesting, at Sabato's Crystal Ball, "Putting Their Eggs in the Wrong Midterm Basket" (at Memeorandum):
Barring significant changes in group voting habits, many commentators have argued that “The Coalition of the Ascendant” is positioned to give Democrats a notable edge in elections in the near future. There may be some truth to that supposition: The country is clearly getting more diverse, and nonwhite voters tend to vote strongly Democratic.

A key cog in this coalition has been young voters — often called Millennials — who are more diverse than their elders. Exit poll data in 2012 suggest that young people were vital in securing President Barack Obama’s second term in the White House. He garnered 60% of the 18-to-29 vote (after winning 66% of it in 2008), by far the highest percentage Obama won among any age group. Estimating from exit poll data, all else equal, it’s possible that Obama would have narrowly lost the popular vote (and perhaps the Electoral College vote, too) had he won the same percentage among 18-to-29 year olds as he did among 30-to-44 year olds (52%). Continued strong support for Democratic presidential candidates in the future among younger voters could spell trouble for the GOP as generational replacement occurs (yes, that’s a euphemism).

However, one aspect of this trend is anything but rosy for Democrats: Since the first national exit poll was taken for a midterm election in 1978, only once (in that first survey) has the 18-to-29 age group made up a larger portion of a midterm electorate than voters who were 60 or older. And not only have young people almost always been the smallest part of midterm electorates in this period, their participation has usually been much smaller compared to presidential years. With Democrats more reliant on young voters to win elections, drop-off among that group could make it harder for Democrats to find success in midterm cycles...
Keep reading.

The main implication here is that Democrats are likely to suck in midterm election, when there's likely to be a huge drop off of younger voters. Interesting too is that baby boomers, a massive demographic cohort, are living much longer than previous generations, and it's likely their cohort will provide the Republicans with a huge base of votes for decades. Even younger voters today are not guaranteed to remain faithfully Democratic, unlike, say, voters who cut their political teeth during the New Deal-era of Democrat hegemony.

So, while leftists make funny headlines about how the GOP coalition's a bunch of old fogies, the demographic trends are extremely problematic for the regressive boneheads.

More at Memeorandum.