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Reply #58: Why Democrats are thankful: The youth vote has arrived [View All]

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tbyg52 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-30-08 03:20 PM
Response to Reply #8
58. Why Democrats are thankful: The youth vote has arrived
In "Twelfth Night," Shakespeare reminds, "Youth's a stuff will not endure." But given what has been happening to the Republicans among the youngest voters, their resulting electoral problems could indeed endure for 20-30 years.

On November 4, the youngest cohort of voters, 18-29, gave Barack Obama a blow-out 66-32 win. It was by far his biggest margin among any age group. John McCain, by contrast, won only the over-65 set. And since the 18-year-old vote was established in 1972 (on which as a college kid I went to Washington to lobby my home-state senator, Majority Leader Mike Mansfield), this is the first time the youngest cohort of voters has comprised a larger share (18 percent) of the total electorate than the oldest group (16 percent).

This complete GOP wipeout among young voters has been brewing for some time, and the Republicans should have seen it coming. In 2000, Al Gore barely won the youngest voters 48-46. Four years later, John Kerry, not exactly a kid himself at 60, took the 18-to-29 set by a margin of 54-45 over George W. Bush. In 2006, when the Democrats took back the House and Senate, the youngest voters backed Democrats 60-38 - the highest among any age group. And now Obama pushed the margin to 34 points.

Signs of disaffection with Republicans among young people have been rampant for the past several years. In a national survey of young voters in May of last year, the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner found a "Republican collapse among young Americans." When asked which party pays more attention to issues that affect young people, the Democrats were preferred by an eye-popping 60-21 over the Republicans.

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