Thursday, July 07, 2005

Rockin' the vote (against Bush): Youth have their say

Ruy Teixeira at Donkey Rising examines Bush's approval ratings among youth, and they're even worse than his general ones in a recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. The survey of 18- to 25-year olds shows an approval rating of just 42%. Other key numbers: "by 63-37, they feel the war in Iraq has not been worth the cost in US lives and dollars; by 65-33, they believe the Democrats, not the Republicans, do a better job representing the interests of young people;... and, last but not least, by 57-43, they think that Bush has not made us safer from terrorist attack."

Teixeira: "By these data, the Democrats should replicate their recent strong performance among young voters in 2006 and perhaps beyond." Let's hope so.

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  • Well, IMO, Teixera is hardly a reliable source for predictions about how the Democrats will do. He and John Judis have been talking for years about the supposed emerging Democratic majority stemming from demographic changes. I see no evidence of it. While I hope he is right, I think there is a counterargument that youth is getting more conservative.

    NPR interviewed an author (in my old age I can't remember either the writer's name or the book title)who a book analyzing the success of the animated series "South Part" and so-called "South Park conservatives." His argument was that conservative ideas are becoming more accepted in the media as younger viewers tire of liberal political correctness and the like.

    I realize this is anecdotal and does not address directly the poll numbers that Teixera cites. But, given his penchant to predictions of imminent Democratic dominance, I'm a bit skeptical of the idea that the youth vote is going to flock to the Democrats, at least as long as there is no military draft. This is especially true in that the Republicans seem to be running a training ground for young conservatives. In the long run, this might be more important than poll numbers.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:54 AM  

  • Like you, I'm iffy on the whole emerging Democratic majority thing. Like so many on the left, I don't think that Teixeira and Judis understand what truly motivates voters. In particular, they don't understand the power of "values". It's easy to think that greater ethnic diversity, for example, will boost Democratic fortunes, but, as we saw last year, the connection between ethnicity and voting Democratic is a weak one at best. Hispanics, for example, may continue to shift to the Republicans on "values," and I don't think that Democrats can count on the Black vote forever.

    You may be right, to a point, that conservatism is on the rise among young people, but these numbers nonetheless point to a serious problem for the Republicans.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 12:13 PM  

  • I hope you and Teixera are correct. I'm getting tired of waiting for this renaissance, however.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:07 PM  

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