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18 and Life
July 9, 2014 7:57 AM   Subscribe

How Birth Year Influences Political Views A new model of presidential voting suggests President Obama’s approval rating — currently in the low 40s — will inform not only the 2016 election, but also the election in 2076. Events at age 18 are about three times as powerful as those at age 40, according to the model. The Upshot: Why Teenagers Today May Grow Up Conservative

PDFof working paper: The Great Society, Reagan’s Revolution, and
Generations of Presidential Voting
posted by MisantropicPainforest (69 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

 
I appear to be solidly bucking the trend for my fellow 56-year-olds.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:01 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


To Americans in their 20s and early 30s — the so-called millennials — many of these problems have their roots in George W. Bush’s presidency.

Yes.

HiLoBrow's generations, which are only a half-serious project but calls Gen 16, Generation TBA: 1993-2002
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:03 AM on July 9


Cognitive Dissonance has a Lifespan!
posted by DigDoug at 8:05 AM on July 9


Really, Generation X is already reliably Republican? I feel like our only positive memory from the late Reagan-Bush era is that Gulf War I ended in 100 hours.

Oh, right, the End of Communism.
posted by psoas at 8:09 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


The linked article completely ignores the actual policy agenda of the opposing choice, the Republican Party. The argument appears to be "Everything sucks and Democrats are in the White House, therefore, Republicans", without citing any kind of support that teens today are clamoring for the Ryan Budget, Praying the Gay Away, Drill Baby Drill, Deportations Forvever, 1% Tax Cuts or Invading Iran, you know, anything that Republicans are offering.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:12 AM on July 9 [14 favorites]


Really, Generation X is already reliably Republican?

No. The members of Generation X who are white are 55% Republican. 55% of white Americans voted for John McCain in 2008, and he got crushed.
posted by escabeche at 8:16 AM on July 9 [10 favorites]


Additionally, the editorial seems to ignore a major criterion from the research: children who grow up under a popular administration tend to become long-term partisans. I'm not sure that label applies to either George W. Bush or to Barack Obama. I think you'd need a relatively uncontroversial and lastingly popular presidency for the effect to take hold, not just an unpopular run by one or the other party.
posted by kewb at 8:20 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Strauss and Howe's generation theory predicts that Millennials (teenagers) will be similar to the Greatest Generation. Not in the same ways of course, but generally. By comparison, George Bush was their Herbert Hoover and Calvin Coolidge, Obama was their Franklin D. Roosevelt.
posted by stbalbach at 8:20 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I don't think political history is cyclical or that every generation behaves the same way with respect to views and ideology being formed. Call me an optimist, but I think each generation leans ever more slowly toward social permissiveness. As far as economics, the defining moments that young people are seeing are complete failures of capitalism and wall street, and a complete failure of traditional party politics to address the deep economic crises we face. I think the teenagers of today will tend toward socialism, to be honest.
posted by naju at 8:21 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


Why Teenagers Today May Grow Up Conservative
Because they're terrible.

Really, Generation X is already reliably Republican?
There's a lot of prominent Gen-X Republicans. Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Barack Obama...
posted by entropicamericana at 8:21 AM on July 9 [10 favorites]


Less than a generation after young people were marching for civil rights and against the Vietnam War, they voted overwhelmingly for Ronald Reagan.

From the infographic in the Amanda Cox piece, it looks like birth years from the late '40s and early '50s--the archetypal Vietnam protestor cohort--either went D in the Reagan era or barely went for Reagan. As much as I'm inclined to blame the boomers for dismantling the Great Society as soon as they got done with it, it seems like Leonhardt might be misrepresenting things for the sake of a certain narrative here.
posted by batfish at 8:22 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


Really, Generation X is already reliably Republican?

It sort of feels like it. Most of my friends from HS are Glenn Beck loving dittoheads. I had thought that maybe I just had asshole friends who forgot that the Conservatives were the butt of every movie from The Goonies to Weird Science because they really are villains.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:23 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Really, Generation X is already reliably Republican?

I'm smack bang in the middle of Generation X and so are the overwhelming majority of my friends.

And we would all of us rather RETCH FURNITURE than define ourselves as Republican. In fact, one of us is a nominating delegate for THE GREEN PARTY.

Generation X is "reliably Republican" my ASS.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:28 AM on July 9 [14 favorites]


The members of Generation X who are white are 55% Republican.

As a member of this demographic, color me ..... somewhere between surprised and very suspicious of their model.

I'd say that my political leaning is much more influenced by a) life was generally good under Clinton, and b) the utter failure that was Bush II, than Reagan.

Those years were respectively a) my late teens and early 20's, where I didn't fully appreciate how good it was; and b) later 20s-early 30s, where my eyes were opened not only to evil, but how long the impact from those wars and policies would truly be.

While the product of a) and b) was that I am quite left-leaning, I don't think the timeframe and external influences were unique to me -- those were Gen X. So I really do question the modeling. Yes, there are prominent Gen Xers who are GOP, but the plural of anecdote is not data.
posted by Dashy at 8:30 AM on July 9 [6 favorites]


And frankly, the issue of color is a red herring.
posted by Dashy at 8:33 AM on July 9


entropicamericana: "Really, Generation X is already reliably Republican?
There's a lot of prominent Gen-X Republicans. Paul Ryan, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Bobby Jindal, Chris Christie, Barack Obama...
"

The baby boom lasted until '64 so only Jindal and Ryan are Gen X. The rest us from '64 back are Boomers.
posted by octothorpe at 8:40 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Man, as if anything about any party in the US is not "conservative".
posted by clvrmnky at 8:42 AM on July 9 [7 favorites]


And we would all of us rather RETCH FURNITURE than define ourselves as Republican

But isn't that just a version of the "no one I know voted for Nixon" phenomenon? I mean, no one is suggesting that 100% of any generation votes solidly R or D. This is a problem more generally in the way people talk about relatively small electoral advantages as if they represented overwhelming support. I mean, even in such "solidly Republican" states as Arkansas and Alabama Obama still got something near 40% of the vote at the last election. The difference between an "overwhelmingly" Republican state and a "toss up" state is that in one of them 6 out of 10 people vote Republican and in the other 5 out of 10 do.
posted by yoink at 8:45 AM on July 9 [10 favorites]


The difference between an "overwhelmingly" Republican state and a "toss up" state is that in one of them 6 out of 10 people vote Republican and in the other 5 out of 10 do.

And that is precisely why saying a group in which only 55% support a given thing as being "reliably" in favor of that thing is RIDICULOUS.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:48 AM on July 9


As an X-er, I would like to apologize for the rest of my generation. What the hell, people??
posted by blurker at 8:49 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


modeling: garbage in, garbage out.
posted by Dashy at 8:50 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


And that is precisely why saying a group in which only 55% support a given thing as being "reliably" in favor of that thing is RIDICULOUS.

Huh? The word "reliably" could be totally apt. "Overwhelmingly" would be an exaggeration.

If 55% of the people vote a certain way, every single time, that's pretty reliable. But it's not overwhelming support.

Many states, or even just Congressional districts, are "reliably" D or R, but not by huge margins. (This is particularly true in heavily-gerrymandered districts.) But if the political landscape is stable it doesn't matter that much. It's one of the effects of a winner-take-all system.
posted by Kadin2048 at 8:54 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


How do we calculate the generation label for a corporation-person?
posted by armacy at 8:54 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: I'm smack bang in the middle of Generation X and so are the overwhelming majority of my friends. And we would all of us rather RETCH FURNITURE than define ourselves as Republican."

Pauline Kael is alive and on Metafilter?!

I kid I kid! And I sympathize with the idea of barfing up a couch as a pleasant alternative to voting GOP.
posted by barnacles at 8:54 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


So I'm a millennial again? The generational boundaries are adjusted to whatever point the writer is making. Personally, I have a lot more in common with someone who was born in, say, 1975 than someone born in 1993.
posted by spaltavian at 8:54 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


And that is precisely why saying a group in which only 55% support a given thing as being "reliably" in favor of that thing is RIDICULOUS.

We're talking about a winner-take-all political system. I think Kadin2048 expresses the idea pretty well, but I'm also shocked that my demographic (white Americans born in the 1970s) votes consistently R-of-center in aggregate, contrary to the narrative we're largely familiar with.
posted by psoas at 8:57 AM on July 9


As an X-er, I speak from authority when I say that my generational cohort is only ironically Republican. It's kind of like how in the 90s we embraced 70s fashions, Neil Diamond, and The Brady Bunch: we only pretended they were cool because they were lame.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:01 AM on July 9 [7 favorites]


modeling: garbage in, garbage out.
posted by Dashy at 11:50 AM on July 9 [+] [!]


Care to elaborate?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 9:04 AM on July 9


I'm smack bang in the middle of Generation X and so are the overwhelming majority of my friends.

And we would all of us rather RETCH FURNITURE than define ourselves as Republican. In fact, one of us is a nominating delegate for THE GREEN PARTY.


But that's a self-selecting group. What about siblings? Cousins? High school friends?

I'm almost 40 and I have two stepsisters. The one that's 3 years younger than me is fairly conservative but I can still have conversations with her. The one that's my age is a complete writeoff. Everything she and her husband (same age) say just parrots Fox News. Actually, they're worse. I wouldn't be too shocked to see Stormfront in his browser bookmarks. My slightly older cousins are crazypants rightwingers. My ex is four years older than me and he says most of his college friends are extremely conservative.

My friends range from moderate lefties to honest-to-god communists and they're mostly Gen X too.
posted by desjardins at 9:07 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Now break it down by gender.

It isn't white people.

It's white men.
posted by srboisvert at 9:10 AM on July 9 [3 favorites]


And that is precisely why saying a group in which only 55% support a given thing as being "reliably" in favor of that thing is RIDICULOUS.

Well, the point's already been made, but just to bring it home to the example I gave above--is it "ridiculous" for Republican strategists to call Alabama a "reliably" Republican state? If your answer is no, then you can see why it's fair to call your generation a "reliably" Republican voting bloc.
posted by yoink at 9:12 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Born in 1980. Politically ambivalent but kind of disappointed by Clinton's ethical lapses. Got snookered into libertarianism though the Institute of Humane Studies (thanks Koch family!) in college. Happy that we had elected Bush when 9/11 happened. Bought into the whole march to war. Voted for Bush twice.

To put it lightly, I regret that. And there's no way I'm alone.

Since 2004 have become aggressively Democratic, given the utter failure of the Republican Party to 1. own up to their own failures 2. offer anything resembling sane or thoughtful public policy.

The Republican Party isn't FOR anything these days, except hating the president and defunding government. Until it actually rebuilds its intellectual infrastructure (Heritage, Cato, etc.) it won't even be able to properly articulate a new vision if it someone manages to find one.

We need two functioning political parties for this country to work properly. These days we've got one.
posted by leotrotsky at 9:18 AM on July 9 [9 favorites]


My own dissent - which I didn't clearly state, and I apologize - is that being only 5% off a split decision seems awfully tenuous.

"Reliably" to me seems to imply consistency - that "no matter what, even if the vote fluctuates on a given election, we will always win the majority". That's something I'd say if it were, like, 75% Republican - even if in a future election, the vote fluctuates a few percentage points, it'd be a matter of dropping down to 70% or 65%, which is still a majority.

But when you're already only at 55% to start with, an drop down to 50% or even 49% on a given election....suddenly your "reliable" voterbase is losing the majority.

So basically I'm saying this isn't reliable because math.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:20 AM on July 9


I'm also shocked that my demographic (white Americans born in the 1970s) votes consistently R-of-center in aggregate, contrary to the narrative we're largely familiar with.

I already said it, but the key word here is white. We tend to read past it because we're conditioned to read "white" as neutral -- like, you know, the normal Americans. But we white people are not like average Americans. White people are Republican. No Democratic candidate has won the majority of the white vote since 1968. The fact that your demographic votes 55% Republican means that your demographic constitutes an unusually liberal group of white people.
posted by escabeche at 9:24 AM on July 9 [10 favorites]


I read this article and came away totally unconvinced by the headline. In fact, the article itself is not convinced by its own headline:

Among today’s teenagers, Democrats do start with some big advantages. For one thing, the next generation of voters is an ethnically diverse group: About 45 percent of American citizens in their teenage years are either Latino or a member of a racial minority, compared with only 29 percent of citizens 20 and older.

And also:
Some political analysts believe that teenagers are already showing less allegiance to the Democratic Party than Americans in their 20s, based on recent polling data. My own sense is that their argument rests on small, noisy sample sizes, and Mr. Taylor, of Pew, is also skeptical.

So I can agree with this bit, I guess:
The Democrats face challenges with today’s teenagers that they did not face with today’s 25- or 30-year-olds.

Sure, that's fine. But I don't see them becoming Republican. Third party, a misguided Nader/Paul fling, maybe the Greens get serious traction - maybe. But not the present day corporatist angry white GOP.
posted by RedOrGreen at 9:27 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


White people are Republican. No Democratic candidate has won the majority of the white vote since 1968.

Thank Jebus for the browning of America!
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:27 AM on July 9 [5 favorites]


Just as an anecdotal data point (I know, somewhat contradictive), a fairly large contingent of my peers from high school are pretty rabid right-wingers. I was a HS senior when Clinton was elected, so sort of at the tail end of Gen X, but we'd grown up with Reagan and Alex P. Keaton, and Rush Limbaugh was actually somehow cool for a while.
posted by LionIndex at 9:32 AM on July 9


Huh. Their model predicts that white people from 30 to 44 would have voted overwhelmingly Republican in 2012, but I can't seem to get decent cross tabs on that; 30 to 44 year olds overall voted for Obama, but white voters from 39-44 voted for Romney. Anybody have better stats to check this against?
posted by klangklangston at 9:39 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


The other thing this ignores is that for Obama's middling approval numbers, the GOP has far worse approval numbers from pretty much everyone.
posted by klangklangston at 9:40 AM on July 9


Generation X is reaching that age point where some of them are doing kinda OK for themselves and starting to feel like they need to protect what little toe-hold they have.

In other words: Republicans.
posted by Cyrano at 9:44 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I think there's probably a lot of geography in play, too. The people who are saying they're in their 30s and don't know any Republicans are, I suspect without even looking, living in big coastal cities and probably downtown (i.e. not even in the suburbs of those cities).

Drive an hour or two outside those same cities and you can easily find areas where there are similarly few Democrats and the big political disagreements are over what flavor of Republican you are. And in the suburbs you'll probably find people who vote Republican in local elections and Democrat in Federal ones, or vice versa, for a variety of reasons.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:58 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


But we white people are not like average Americans. White people are Republican. No Democratic candidate has won the majority of the white vote since 1968.

Christ, that's depressing.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:03 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


You don't even need to drive an hour away from the city where I am. The city hasn't elected a republican to office in eighty years but 30 minutes north and they elect people like Daryl Metcalfe who makes Bachmann seem moderate in comparison.
posted by octothorpe at 10:05 AM on July 9


As far as economics, the defining moments that young people are seeing are complete failures of capitalism and wall street, and a complete failure of traditional party politics to address the deep economic crises we face. I think the teenagers of today will tend toward socialism, to be honest.

I sincerely hope so.
posted by Foosnark at 10:11 AM on July 9


New generation coming up we really gotta stand up to them, take warning, take warning.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 10:27 AM on July 9


I am white, ostensibly male, and 42. I vote Green. My friends vote Green or Democrat, except for those who think voting is a waste of time and the rest of us have been unable to beat sense into their heads.

I don't have any conservative friends, because I never want to hang around people who think like a conservative.

So, to hell with this "Gen Xers are Republicans" thing and the "white male Gen Xers are Republicans thing. There is no "we" there.
posted by Foosnark at 10:53 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


Really, Generation X is already reliably Republican?

Not I, nor my boyfriend, nor most of my friends. I do have some conservative friends, but they are hardly the overwhelming majority.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:58 AM on July 9


Any ideas what could explain the radical shifts between those born in 1954 to those born in 1955 and in 1978 to 1979?

The trends seem to hold fluidly on either side, but those are a couple pretty pronounced jumps. It seems like a single year difference shouldn't hold that much weight.
posted by pokermonk at 10:58 AM on July 9



Really, Generation X is already reliably Republican?



Not that I'm aware of. I was born in 76, so depending on your preferred generational model, I'm toward the end of things. Among my cohort, I don't personally know any republicans. I have a few friends that, if pressed, will identify as conservative, but they've reliably voted Democrat as long as I've known them because the Republican party has been nothing but crazy for as long as we've been voting (1996 was my first national election).
posted by thivaia at 11:04 AM on July 9


What's with all this anecdata. Most of my friends are anti-democrat progressives. That doesn't mean my entire generation skews that way.
posted by naju at 11:04 AM on July 9 [4 favorites]


As Yoink mentioned, it's the "no one I know voted for Nixon" phenomenon.
posted by octothorpe at 11:09 AM on July 9 [2 favorites]


So basically I'm saying this isn't reliable because math.

Well, this whole terminology kerfuffle is my fault, so I guess I should have said the bare majority has consistently voted R in the past. #notallxers
posted by psoas at 11:11 AM on July 9


They say once you own property you turn Republican. Unfortunately, being as my generation can no longer afford to own property, it looks like Republicans have shit the bed they intend to sleep in. Well done.
posted by yeti at 11:12 AM on July 9 [9 favorites]


Funny how they refer to Obama as a 'Democratic' president, when he's far more conservative than Nixon was.

Teenagers certainly will grow up conservative (same first letter as clueless) if they have no other models to go by. Thanks to 30+ years of demonization, good luck with that ... unless you call the jokers - Colbert and ilk - models. Al Freaking Frankin was one of the PIPA (SOPA) co-sponsors.
posted by Twang at 11:19 AM on July 9


No Democratic candidate has won the majority of the white vote since 1968

Let's see that's Nixon, Nixon, Carter, Reagan, Reagan, Bush 1, Clinton, Clinton, Bush 2, Bush 2, Obama and Obama.

Carter won 50.1% of the vote, so .2 percent less white votes means he doesn't get a majority.
Thanks to Perot Clinton didn't even win the majority of the vote in either election.
So that really just leaves the two Obama elections.

This "statistic" is kind of... meh.
posted by aspo at 11:22 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


The other thing this ignores is that for Obama's middling approval numbers, the GOP has far worse approval numbers from pretty much everyone.

They are also assuming that Obama's numbers are some sort of Bush-style terminal decline, rather than the standard late-presidency doldrums.

Funny how they refer to Obama as a 'Democratic' president, when he's far more conservative than Nixon was.

Not this nonsense again.
posted by spaltavian at 11:24 AM on July 9 [7 favorites]


David Atkins: "The one does not follow from the other. If the Democratic Party fails to assert a strongly economically progressive stance and prove that its policies can work, at least at a statewide level (since obstruction is the name of the federal game), then it stands completely to reason that many of today's youngest voters would become disenchanted with politics or even reject the Democratic Party as ineffectual. One unmistakable trend among younger voters is toward not registering with either major political party.

But that's a trend among older, decidedly more progressive Millennials as well. That bespeaks a disenchantment with the political process and a belief that both parties are at least partially in hock to corporate interests. But it doesn't indicate centrism, much less conservatism.

If today's teenagers feel that the Obama Administration didn't do enough to fix the country, they're not going to suddenly embrace the party or the ideology that wants to kill public education and food stamps, lower corporate taxes, deny women contraception and put gays back into the closet. There is almost zero chance of today's teenagers favoring those policies any more than their older Millennial counterparts do. They may or may not distance themselves from partisan politics itself and from the Democratic Party--a move I feel would be unwise in our binary system. But the fact that they may fail to vote at all doesn't mean they're about to start voting more Republican.
"
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:42 AM on July 9 [5 favorites]


Carter won 50.1% of the vote, so .2 percent less white votes means he doesn't get a majority.
Thanks to Perot Clinton didn't even win the majority of the vote in either election.
So that really just leaves the two Obama elections.


I don't understand your point. How does any of this disprove the claim that none of these candidates won a majority of the white vote?
posted by yoink at 11:50 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


yeti: They say once you own property you turn Republican. Unfortunately, being as my generation can no longer afford to own property, it looks like Republicans have shit the bed they intend to sleep in. Well done.

The solution then is to restrict the right to vote to property owners only, as The Founders intended. Win!
posted by hangashore at 11:59 AM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that T.D. I feel like that quote is the most accurate explanation of this.

In other news, if anyone campaigned on the concept of Election Reform, I would vote for them. I don't want to have to look up which corporation bribed each person that makes each influential decision.
posted by bbqturtle at 12:01 PM on July 9


It's kind of funny. Most of my friends are the party their parent(s) are/were when they grew up. My poor father, who probably counts as a RINO more than any anything else, has watched his children swing solidly democratic over the course of their lives (he married a Democrat). Even though my older sister ('76) loved to go to shooting ranges and has a CCW, she's already a vote that Hillary can count on in 2016 (assuming the obvious).

Though, while today I contain a rather suspicious stigma toward Republicans, it wasn't until the Bush Administration that it developed. I was middle of the road and then someone picked up the road and I couldn't help but slide to the left.
posted by Atreides at 12:52 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


Twang: Funny how they refer to Obama as a 'Democratic' president, when he's far more conservative than Nixon was.

Sa-wiiiing and a miss.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:30 PM on July 9 [2 favorites]


This "statistic" is kind of... meh.

Why is it meh?

The Democratic candidate has won a majority of the popular vote 4 times in that time span, but never a majority of the white vote.

The Democratic candidate has won a plurality of the popular vote 6 times in that time span, but never a plurality of the white vote.

Obama's share of the white vote certainly doesn't look much worse than Gore's or Kerry's.

White voters have consistently voted more Republican in every Presidential election in the last 50 years.
posted by leopard at 8:37 PM on July 9


Obama was their Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Christ what a depressing comparison.
posted by smoke at 11:27 PM on July 9 [1 favorite]


I would have voted for Nixon when I was 7/8 because he mailed me a bumper sticker which I immediately applied to the rear fender of my bike.

NIXON'S THE ONE!

Stickers were everything when I was that age.
posted by Pudhoho at 12:54 AM on July 10 [1 favorite]


Someone mentioned this upthread but it looks like no one picked up on it: something definitely looks wonky with the data when you look at the discontinuity between those born in 1955 and those born in 1954 (and to a lesser extent between 1956 and 1955).

Oh, wait, here's the answer: it only looks significantly more discontinuous there because the entire graphic is stretched out vertically to exaggerate tiny differences. Most birth-years are showing a (presumably rounded to the nearest) 1% change from the previous, while 1956/55 shows 2% and 1955/54 shows 3%. So it looks like a huge discontinuity when you move the slider past those years, but I bet the extra percentage or two of change is due to regular sampling error or margin of error stuff, right?
posted by nobody at 7:59 AM on July 10 [3 favorites]


They are also assuming that Obama's numbers are some sort of Bush-style terminal decline, rather than the standard late-presidency doldrums.

I wouldn't really call them late-presidency doldrums - excepting a brief boost after being re-elected, he's been bouncing around in the 40s since 2010.

That said, point taken. I mean, outside of the right wing, you don't hear too many people talking about Obama being an historically awful President. In 2007, you had actual, legit, historians posing the question of whether Bush would go down as the worst president in history. That's really unusual.

My sense is that, of the 60% of the population that disapproves of Obama, maybe one-third or so viscerally hate him and would hate him no matter what, and the rest kind of think he's been a disappointment and are generally dissatisfied with the direction of the country. I don't think Obama's unpopularity is as broad or - outside of one segment of the electorate which, again, would hate him no matter what - as deep as that of Bush. It's more like collective exasperation.
posted by breakin' the law at 9:34 AM on July 10


My disapproval would be entirely based on lost chances and failed expectations. I am, however, exceedingly happy that he is the president in the White House versus the alternatives that ran for the same position.
posted by Atreides at 11:35 AM on July 10


Teenage Republicans Still Not Happening Yet
E.M.D. advocates see an electorate that has hardened into relatively fixed blocs and is growing inexorably more liberal as more diverse voters enter the electorate. Skeptics (like Harry Enten and John Sides) see the electorate as far more fluid, and predict that the next cohort of young voters could lurch rightward just as easily as the last one lurched left.

A recent New York Times story lent some positive attention to the skeptics’ case. The basis for the Times piece was a dataset that showed that white voters had differing views depending on when they came of age. The most recent cadre of youngsters leaned more Democratic than their elders, but it was possible that the next cadre would lean right.

The flaw in the argument was that the dataset analyzed only white voters. The Times didn’t do this because it was racist. The Times made this choice because non-white voters lean heavily Democratic regardless of when they came of age. Only white voters vary generationally[...]Of course, “your [birth year]” only applies if you are white. But the caveat is not a small one. Indeed, it fatally undermines the Teenage Republican hypothesis. The diversity of younger voters is the main thing that makes them more liberal. But the choice to focus on white voters only, which was defensible as a way to analyze the most pliable segment of the electorate, produced a skewed conclusion.

Today, David Leonhardt, who wrote the original Times story about the electoral data, follows up by examining Gallup survey of voters by year. He finds little or no discernible shift of the youngest voters toward the Republican Party.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:42 AM on July 14 [1 favorite]


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